The English Premier League (EPL), one of the world’s most-watched sporting events, has filed two new crypto trademarks. The filings were submitted to the US Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) and marked the league’s foray into the Metaverse.
Michael Kondoudis, a licensed trademark attorney, announced the trademarks applications and a few details about them through a tweet on June 6, 2022. Further information was later provided through an official press release.
“The Premier League is regularly watched by more than a billion people, so the value attached to the brand is substantial. These filings represent a logical step to protect the brand in today’s economy, including virtual and crypto elements, and tomorrow’s virtual economy in the metaverse,” said Kondoudis in the press release.
The first application was for its name and unique logo that features a lion donning a crown. The second was for its ‘loving cup trophy’ that sports a crown and golden lions on each handle.
The applications also include licenses for digital tokens and collectables, digital art, digital asset trading, exchange services, virtual apparel, and a marketplace to host these digital assets online.
The trademark filings are quite detailed and explicitly mention the scope of each license. They encompass everything from the creation to the sale and the marketing of all the listed assets. EPL has also sought permission to use these trademarks on “virtual, augmented, and mixed reality software”.
Several brands have ventured into the metaverse lately and offer consumers various benefits like activities, unique experiences, exclusive access to clubs, travel opportunities, etc. Sports enthusiasts have always loved owning collectables, and with their digitisation, the reach is expected to broaden further.
NFTs have also picked up steam in the last two years, with sports NFTs poised to rake in over $2 billion from just transactions in 2022, according to a March news release on PR Newswire.
Although the market has not been doing well recently, thanks to the endless crypto winter, NFT sales are gradually recovering. DappRadar data shows that NFT sales in Q1 2022 touched $12.13 billion, which puts it back on track to surpass the $20 billion mark recorded last year.
NFTs are becoming increasingly popular among sports fans as famous football clubs embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. “We expect the number of trademark filings from the professional sports sector for crypto and virtual products and services to increase in the next 12 months as brands come to appreciate the need for protection in the Metaverse,” Mr Kondoudis added in the news release.
A Deloitte research report from December 2021 predicted this trend as well. “By the end of 2022, we expect that 4–5 million sports fans globally will have purchased or been gifted an NFT sports collectable. Interest in sports NFTs is likely to be spurred by activity in the wider NFT market, including that for digital art, the top five most valuable sales of which had generated over US$100 million by August 2021,” it reads.