Brands are preparing to protect themselves in the metaverse

The metaverseAlthough it is not a reality yet, it is claimed to be a parallel world that contains as many details, objects, places and experiences as the real world and will provide the ability to live in multidimensional spaces. As a worthy successor smart phone –Prolonging one’s body for many – means that it will be possible to watch movies, listen to songs, buy clothes, cars, houses, attend events and concerts … with its corresponding effect on industrial and intellectual property.

In short, and although it may seem a bit strange and sci-fi, we will live in worlds or dimensions that contain as many details, objects, places and experiences as the real world and We will have the ability to live in multidimensional spaces.

In this regard, one of the most curious things about it Mark Zuckerberg It affects the ability to purchase goods and formally show their ownership, not as has happened so far in the Internet environment, where the platform owned the product.

In the metaverse we will have the ability to To be the owners of rights and obligations and all that this entails. It is precisely this aspect that will have a direct impact on the economy in general and on the way of thinking and regulating intellectual and industrial property rights in particular.

We will live in worlds or dimensions that contain as many details, objects, places and experiences as the real world

As far as trademark law is concerned, this new dimension will mean, among other things, that different companies will define themselves and make their products and services publicly available in this new market. Therefore, your protection should be just as important as in real life.

As for him Defending against abuse by third parties, it will have the same, or even more importance, to continue to take deterrent measures against non-consensual use of trademarks by third parties.

sure, severely, The main purposes of brand owners when participating in the metaverse will be two goals: on the one hand, to promote their products or services, and on the other hand, to sell or monetize them in this dimension. There are many luxury brands that are already betting on this way of advertising their products.

For example, Balenciaga launched its Fall 2021 collection through a video game and collaborated with gaming platform Fortnite on a range of digital formats for gamers; Ralph Lauren recently announced a set for Roblox, Metaverse Holiday Expirience with virtual polo stores on this platform.

On the other hand, some giants in the textile industry, such as Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch or New Balance, have already begun to request trademark registrations for products that until then had been reserved for companies in the audiovisual and media sectors. software. is called, Downloadable virtual products.

From the point of view of the European Union, trademarks registered specifically for virtual items may allow their owners to call the so-called “Double identity attack” against virtual counterfeiting (Any identical brands of identical products).

In the event of a conflict, the trademark owner can sue the ostensible infringers without having to establish the possibility of confusion on the part of the public concerned. Additional questions regarding international jurisdiction, (in) the applicability of exhaustion rules, and use to preserve rights in the metaverse will have to be raised later.

In conclusion, and as a summary, what happens with the initial metaverse We actually lived it in the 90’s with the beginning of the internetwhich turned everything upside down and created a stir about how a globalized reality that does not understand borders affects industrial property rights, which are governed by regional standards, but forced them to gradually take some standards according to traditional brand regulations can apply.

It is clear that this new dimension will not only require trademark rights holders to adapt to this new way of exploiting and defending their trademarks, but governments and international organizations will also have to do their part to update regulations for this new reality.

In the meantime, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for business and individuals, who expect this regulation to take longer than necessary, to go ahead and protect their brands for these virtual products as the giants already do.

*** Carmen Romero is Balder’s attorney.

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