In a new Consultation Paper the UK's Law Commission has suggested that English law should be developed to include a specific legal framework capable of dealing with all manner of digital assets. 

The proposal is grand, and for IP and technology lawyers exciting: the Law Commission proposes a brand-new asset class that carries with it far-reaching opportunities for IP exploitation.

The Law Commission paper notes that while English law is in many ways sufficiently resilient, flexible and iterative to accommodate digital assets, legal reform is necessary to acknowledge the nuanced features of digital assets and to reinforce the strength of the digital assets environment. 

Categorising digital assets as property can be significant, for example, in terms of enforcement of rights against third parties, priority treatment in insolvency, transmissibility of rights, and grabbing back assets you seem to have lost.

And on the IP side, having in place specific rules for dealing with NFTs (non-fungible tokens being a prime example of digital assets) presents far reaching opportunities for IP owners.  For example, it will allow brand owners to invest in creating NFT owning communities with privileged access to goods and services and to further fractionalise and commercialise their IP rights.

Read more in our latest DigiLinks post: Digital Assets: New Assets; New IP Opportunities (