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 May 11, 2023 at 5:44 p.m. UTC

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.”

CoinDesk - Unknown
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.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.