Can a DAO license its intellectual property to other parties?

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  • France


Nothing precludes a DAO from licensing its IP to other parties.

However, whereas the material existence and legal qualification of the intellectual property right may be established, the ownership of such rights may be problematic to prove for all the reasons evoked above.

That said, the licensee may consider that the partnership agreement, code, smart contracts and blockchain are sufficient to prove ownership.

This will then give rise to other questions :

● Who will sign the license contract and represent the DAO ?

● Also what is the liability of the signee or persons acting the name of the DAO, with the risk of having each of the participants of the DAO being held responsible, as per article 1872-1 of the Civil Code

referring to « sociétés en participation » with no legal capacity :

« Toutefois, si les participants agissent en qualité d'associés au vu et au su des tiers, chacun

d'eux est tenu à l'égard de ceux-ci des obligations nées des actes accomplis en cette qualité par

l'un des autres, avec solidarité, si la société est commerciale, sans solidarité dans les autres

cas. »

● Exclusive licenses to be opposable to third parties should be recorded in the Trademarks Registry.

This will prove problematic if the IP is not registered.

All that said, IP rights in NFTS are already « rented » « made available » to third parties through a smart contract, tantamount to licensing, with a timestamp (the NFT being recalled at the term) in such

a way that a license for IP rights may be executed through the smart contract, bypassing difficulties

such as representation/signature, etc. However leaving intact the question of proof of the exact terms and conditions of the license (scope of rights) and that of liability and jurisdiction.

Casey Joly

Intellectual Property

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