Notes about trademarks in the metaverseAAA IPRIGHT2
Metaverse is like the wild west back in the 1860s and 1890s in old America where it is filled with gold and opportunities. Right now, the metaverse is slowly expressing that it has the potential to become a new wild west or a ‘wild digital universe’. This is because metaverse is not just loaded with opportunities but it also has enough chaos like the wild west, where brand owners lost track of their IP assets. In this article, we will give out some notes about trademarks in the metaverse.
The metaverse is expected to gain a value of USD$800 billion by 2024 and potentially reach USD$5 trillion in value by 2030.
It’s like a golden goose with uncountable opportunities. Therefore, many brand owners have taken a closer look at this market and strategizing to enter the Metaverse.
However, some might think that this is similar to when they expand to a different potential country but it is actually not the same.
As the metaverse is completely digital and there are many questions that are left unanswered.
The opportunities for brand owners in the metaverse
As the metaverse gains recognition, meaning tons of users increasing day by day, if brand owners decide to display their products in the metaverse, or even sell their products as NFT, they will gain many customers both in the metaverse and in the real world.
The Roblox online gaming platform has reported attracting nearly 50 million daily active users and more than 5.8 billion virtual items being acquired (paid and free).
Not just business owners but even governments have taken interest in this universe.
Seoul’s metropolitan government has drafted a plan to build a 3.9 billion-won metaverse platform to allow citizens to access public services virtually.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched the Amazing Thailand Metaverse for tourists to explore virtual durian orchards and collect NFTs and vouchers that can be used in the real world.
Consequently, there is no deficiency or uncertainty in regards to the metaverse at the moment. In the future, no one can say for sure but metaverse is still a worthwhile investment that business owners need to measure carefully.
Trademark in the metaverse
To register a trademark, it is most common knowledge that the applicant needs to file their application to the IP Office of some country, or register in multinational, sending application to some international organization like the Madrid Protocol.
However, for the trademark in the Metaverse, it is unclear where the official IP Office is and/or whether that IP Office has jurisdiction over which nations.
Right now, the IP management in the Metaverse is limited to each platform, for example, the Horizon Worlds, Decentraland, OpenSea, etc.
Each has a unique way of dealing with IP infringements. Horizon Worlds has a very strong policy against IP infringement, and so does OpenSea.
Despite the bad reputation that the latter platform has gained over IP infringements, it has actually taken very quick and strong measures to take down IP infringing contents.
Relying on platforms to deal with IP is a gamble. Accordingly, brand owners are seeking ways to protect IP in the metaverse and the first one that comes to mind is to register a trademark in this universe.
However, there is no legal framework in any country that include Metaverse trademarks.
One method that brand owners can use is to try to change the specifications into locally accepted specifications about metaverse until new specifications are made locally.
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