The Metaverse is coming.
Is it the next Internet? Time will tell. But if history is a lesson for the future, it may be the wild west for IP rights in its early stages.
I am sure many of you are asking “What is the Metaverse?” Simply put, it’s a virtual reality Internet. If you watched the movie Ready Player One you have an idea of it. Think of Internet websites transformed into virtual three dimensional stores that you might walk into and view goods and services for sale, with checkout and payment.
Why is this relevant? The goods and services you purchase or use in the Metaverse might translate to real physical goods to be delivered to your home. But more likely, you will purchase virtual goods to be used only in the virtual space. Think of “in-game” or “in-app” purchases for your phone or computer game. Those purchases might entitle you to a sword or five free hints.
Or – and here is the kicker – they might be virtual branded objects, such as Nike shoes, Brooks Brothers shirts or a flashy Lamborghini automobile.
Manufacturers and distributors of personal retail goods and services in particular should be thinking ahead now to protecting their brands virtually. I am sure everyone remembers the cybersquatting phase of the Internet, when people registered famous trademarks as domain names and held them for ransom. The same will be true for the Metaverse.
Many companies are already anticipating this and registering (or at least applying on an intended use basis) their key trademarks for virtual products.
Our IP Corner is prepared to guide you in the protection of your critical brands and logos for this brave new world. Contact us to discuss your digital needs.
This post was written by Barry Friedman