This is a proposal to form an IP holding company for VitaDAO.
There are two reasons to form an IP holding company for VitaDAO:
- To hold existing soft IP (copyrights, logo trademarks and word marks) related to VitaDAO
- To hold future hard IP (patents) related to VitaDAO
Legal working group
The IP holding company is intended to hold only that which cannot yet be held in IP NFTs.
The potential advantages of forming an IP holding for VitaDAO company are:
Stronger legal protection for VitaDAO’s IP in general.
For soft IP: provides an entity with which VitaDAO can more easily (i) litigate against IP appropriators, e.g. someone who spins up an unauthorized VitaDAO merchandise store or otherwise uses VitaDAO works, logo, and name for unathorized commercial gain and (ii) license the soft IP for commercial use.
For hard IP: an entity prepared to assign patents when patents arise from VitaDAO-funded projects; an entity to fundraise into from traditional investors interested in IP only; an entity for patent licensing royalties; an entity with which VitaDAO can defensively litigate against entities that might try to attack VitaDAO with their own patents.
The potential disadvantages of forming an IP holding company for VitaDAO company are:
An off-chain solution shifts focus from designing for on-chain IP holding solutions, e.g. IP NFTs.
Administrative overhead from forming ($3,000-100,000+) and maintaining the company (from $1,000 to $10,000 p/a), depending on the jurisdiction, is significant and the hard IP will take time to generate. Our preference would be to first form and maintain in a cost-effective and flexible jurisdiction then move to a new jurisdiction if and when needed.
While hard IP can be sexy and very valuable, soft IP should not be overlooked. Our resident IP lawyer Savva wrote in the legal working group channel, “If your value is in your network, you need a way to shut down scammers and others trying to imply sponsorship / association when they don’t have it (e.g. posting VitaDAO name or logo on their website).”
Finally, the concept of using IP holding companies is not new to web3. For example, Uniswap uses Universal Navigation Inc. (which also holds the IP to most of its code) to hold its trademarks.
The legal working group will evaluate and decide on a jurisdiction and form of entity.
Success = holding company formed + IP assigned to HoldCo
- Agree with revisions (please comment)