Once-Resistant Kanye West Files NFT Trademark Applications

Ye’s new filings come months after the rapper publicly criticized NFT projects.

AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2022 at 7:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 17, 2022 at 3:24 p.m. UTC

Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

Kanye West could be preparing to mint his own non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to 17 new trademark applications filed around the rapper’s Yeezus alter ego. The move suggests the popular rapper/designer may have softened his anti-NFT stance since publicly criticizing digital collectibles earlier this year.

West, who legally changed his name to “Ye,” filed trademark applications for “blockchain-based non-fungible assets,” “currencies and tokens” and “online retail store services featuring … digital art” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 27. The filings also suggest West might launch Yeezus-branded amusement parks.

The filing comes just months after West announced his disinterest in NFT projects in a handwritten letter posted to his Instagram on Feb. 1, a post he has since deleted, that clarified that the rapper’s focus was on “building real products in the real world.”

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Kanye West's since-deleted post about NFTs on his Instagram feed.

West’s post came on the heels of a viral interview featuring Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon talking about their Bored Ape NFTs and several other celebrity NFT endorsements. While West seemed adamant in his letter that he would not be jumping into the NFT space anytime soon, he did suggest that he might eventually have a change of heart, ending the missive by asking fans to “ask me later.”

As celebrity NFT projects and endorsements become increasingly popular, trademark filings have become a common way for the rich and famous to get their feet wet and make an initial claim.

In April, soccer great David Beckham submitted three metaverse and NFT-related trademark applications while, in March, Notorious B.I.G., LLC, which manages Biggie Smalls’ intellectual property, filed three trademarks that indicated the company’s likely plans to release NFTs of the late rapper. And in February, YouTube star, professional boxer and NFT fan Logan Paul helped kick-start the trend of celebrities launching their brands in Web 3 by filing several NFT and metaverse trademarks.

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Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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