Patent marking is an important step in the patent lifecycle. Setting aside inventions covered by method claims, patent marking is generally required to seek past damages from infringers; however, complex patenting portfolios make marking all patented products an intense act of bookkeeping. While virtual marking has somewhat reduced the overhead of marking, it suffers from the same problems all internet-based evidence runs into in court: websites are ephemeral and have intermittent accessibility, as well as poor public logging of when information existed where, and for how long. Nonfungible tokens (or NFTs for short) on a digital blockchain could potentially overcome these hurdles, while still providing the benefits of virtual marking via websites.

Congress initially required (in 1842) that patentees and assignees of patents mark their patented articles, imposing a fine for failing to do so. Presently, patent holders who fail to mark may be precluded from seeking compensatory damages prior to the date that an infringer was put on actual notice of alleged infringement. While the original $100 fine from 1842 would be unlikely to catch the eye of modern executives, board members, and shareholders, the loss of past damages due to a missing mark most certainly would.