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The BBC Files an NFT and VR Trademark on Doctor Who (and Here’s What That Means)

The BBC has submitted a trademark application for Doctor Who in the USA to allow the brand to take steps into the worlds of virtual reality (VR) and NFTs.

What does that mean? Basically that the BBC might use the Doctor Who logo and wider brand to sell digital assets, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), VR, and wearable devices, as well as more material merchandise like clothing (see? Material).

In fact, the trademark covers an eclectic mix of stuff including:

  • Cartoons.
  • Toiletries.
  • Apps.
  • Magazines.
  • Comics.
  • Footwear.
  • Video and sound recordings.

Don’t get too excited. This doesn’t mean a Doctor Who animation is on the cards. It’s likely that, because the show will be streaming via Disney+ in territories outside the UK, this is a belt-and-braces approach to licensing and trademarking by the House of Mouse.

The virtual reality aspect sounds interesting, however. The NFT angle, though, is already annoying. Some people hold great value in NFTs; many others do not. Non-fungible tokens have nothing to do with mushrooms; they’re rather complex and linked to another complicated thing: blockchain technology, a ledger of transactions that form the basis for cryptocurrencies. We won’t go into huge detail, but essentially, NFTs are digital assets, more often than not artworks, which can be shared but the owner of an NFT has bought the crypto-chain and metadata that the art is based on. The owner is listed in the blockchain. Think of it like owning a digital painting. Others can view it, but you own it.

This is either genius or a huge scam, based on your perspective. If you own an NFT, you probably think the former. If you don’t, you can probably see through the spiel pretty well.

Of course, this likely all ties into the news that the BBC is entering the Metaverse too.

The application was filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 1st May 2023. We reckon the application will be successful…

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

The BBC Files an NFT and VR Trademark on Doctor Who (and Here’s What That Means)

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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