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Trademark protection of virtual goods and services under Metaverse world

After rebranding itself as “Meta” and announcing its aim to construct a virtual community known as the “Metaverse,” the giant tech company formerly known as “Facebook” made headlines last year. It means that the Metaverse will almost probably provide an e-commerce experience that can only be found in a three-dimensional digital environment. Although the Metaverse has not yet been established, many firms are planning to take advantage of the e-commerce market possibilities available in the new virtual world when it does.

What is Metaverse?

A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds centered on social connection. It is a simulated digital environment that blends augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), blockchain, and social media principles to build places for rich user interaction that resemble the real world.

Assets in the Digital Age

While current digital assets, like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), are generating a lot of buzz and suspicion, many people and businesses are making concerted efforts to sell and supply virtual products and services in the Metaverse. The growing number of new applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) seeking to register trademarks for use in virtual reality demonstrates this. The growing number of new applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) seeking to register trademarks for use in virtual reality demonstrates this.

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McDonald’s wants a virtual Big Mac and NFT restaurant in the Metaverse

The world’s most extensive fast-food business intends to provide you with a virtual restaurant in the Metaverse but will deliver it literally. McDonald’s has filed ten metaverse-related patent applications to enable it to serve meals online and in person, provide entertainment services, and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The business has submitted patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), joining an expanding roster of significant corporations making waves in the Metaverse. The patents see the fast-food business offering “virtual food and beverage goods” as well as “downloadable multimedia files comprising artwork, text, audio and video files, and non-fungible tokens.” McDonald’s also intends to provide online shopping services with virtual items. Additionally, the restaurant chain filed patents for its McCafe brand, which will provide “online real and virtual concerts” in addition to food and drinks.

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Top Trademark Brand that made a bold move into the Metaverse world

1. Gucci and Roblox

It was a two-week art project designed to raise brand recognition among young clients on the Roblox gaming platform in May 2021. A virtual reproduction of a real-world Florence exhibit. Avatars may be dressed in digital Gucci merchandise before strolling around the themed areas. Their avatars absorbed aspects from each region they visited in the virtual world.

2. Tafi and Coca-Cola 

Coke joined with Tafi’s 3D artists to organize a virtual “loot box” auction for NFTs in July 2021, which raised over $1 million. The winning bidder would get a real-life Coca-Cola refrigerator, and digital clothing in the open-source game platform Decentraland housed on the Ethereum blockchain.

3. Louis Vuitton 

Louis Vuitton turned 100 last year. As a tribute to its creator, Louis the Game was created. The brand produced its own story and universe to explore, comparable to a PlayStation RPG. It’s a game about running around collecting objects and personalizing your avatar in a Louis Vuitton manner. To top it off, 30 NFTs produced by artist Beeple were hidden throughout the game. Like many other firms, Louis Vuitton is looking for methods to attract younger audiences without forcing them to buy anything. Unlike other blockchain games, these NFTs cannot be exchanged on any marketplace, making them digital collectables.

4. Pokémon and Selfridges

In collaboration with designer Charli Cohen and Yahoo RYOT Lab, Selfridges developed Electric/Metropolis. In this virtual city, you could buy special virtual and tangible merchandise to commemorate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary in 2021.

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Protection of Trademark right in the Virtual World of Metaverse

The firms that have submitted the applications listed above represent a diverse range of sectors and, more crucially, are not confined to those who now provide only digital products and services. Many people believe that the Metaverse would lead to establishing a new online virtual reality marketplace. It is shown by the increase in trademark filings at the USPTO for virtual products and services following the unveiling of the Metaverse. The establishment of the Metaverse will indeed influence trademark rights in the actual world, even though it is digital and will take place in virtual reality.

This article aims to provide a broad overview of the topic. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be relied upon without getting specialist legal advice in each matter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about Metaverse and related Intellectual Property (IP) Infringement.

M. Al Khatem

Trademark & Intellectual Property

M. Al Khatem is a senior Trademark and Intellectual Property (IP) expert in HHS Lawyers. He has handled some of the firm’s complex, high-profile cases – many involving the protection of trademark and IP rights.