Metavers & intellectual property

Metavers & IP

Which legal strategy for your company?

In 2026, you could spend 25% of your time in the metaverse*.
*According to a study by the GARTNER agency
Consulting and research agency in the field of advanced technologies

01. 01.

01. What is the metaverse?

decentraland metavers

The metaverse is a version of the Internet that incorporates three-dimensional virtual environments.

There is no unique and global metaverse: they are immersive and interconnected 3D virtual worlds where people can interact through an avatar and pursue or initiate tasks identical to those experienced in real life.

In concrete terms, what do we do there?

You can shop, attend events like Fashion Week, concerts or parties, work, buy and build virtual houses on virtual land, pay in crypto-currency...

recent examples of applications on metavers

Below are some recent examples of applications.
(Click on the images to display the text)
March 2022: Decentraland organizes the1st Fashion Week in the metaverse, with shows by Dolce & Gabbana and Elie Saab.
the 1st Fashion Week
June 2022: Meta creates a virtual boutique to dress her avatar in the metaverse. The first outfits presented are signed Balenciaga and Prada.
Virtual store on meta
August 2022: Radio iHeartMedia launches its own dedicated space in Fortnite to host events and concerts.
Radio iHeartMedia
iHeartMedia Radio on fortnite
August 2022: MTV Video Music Awards for "Best Performance in the Metaverse".
BlackPink metavers
MTV Video music awards
August 2022: Singer Ariana Grande performs in Fortnite.
concert of ariana grande
August 2022: Bulgari launches the virtual boutique "Bulgari Sunset in Jeju" (clothing for avatar).
bulgari launches its boutique
Sept. 2022: Qatar Airways creates its universe in the metaverse (visit of cabins, presentation of the metahuman crew, game for the world cup).
the creation of the
Sept. 2022: Tommy Hilfiger hosts a "See Now - Buy Now" show inspired by Andy Warhol's Factory and broadcasts it live on Tommy Play on Roblox.
Tommy Play
tommy hilfiger fashion show

01. 02.

02. Industries that invest in the metaverse

Which industries?

Video games
Education & e-learning

For what purpose?

Broaden your target (generation Z/millennium)
To have an image of prestige and exclusivity
Expand its products (sell digital duplicates, exclusive collections in the metaverse)
Improve its visibility (create events in the metavers etc.)
Building a strong community

01. 03.

03. Which IP strategy to adopt in the metaverse?

3.1 In trademark law

Trademark owners should audit their previous trademark filings and, if necessary, re-file their trademarks by adapting the wording to the metaverse, including extending protection to new classes of goods and services.
New classes of products and services.
Downloadable virtual products i.e. computer programs related to - or including - [specify products such as perfumes, bags, etc.].
Retail store services for virtual products, entertainment services.
Entertainment services, such as the online provision of real and virtual concerts, exhibitions, games, and other virtual events.
Virtual products not downloadable online and NFT.
In the United States
This is the number of trademark applications filed with the US Office (USPTO) for products and services related to NFT, metavers, web3 in general, between January and August 2022.
Some examples of deposits
HERMES has applied for a trademark with the USPTO in August 2022 including NFTs, crypto-currencies, online games or clothing, accessories, exhibitions and fashion shows in virtual worlds.
Sony Music Entertainment recently filed a trademark application for web3, with a view to launching a project combining music and NFT.
McDonald' s has filed applications to operate a virtual restaurant, host real and virtual online concerts and other entertainment services in its virtual McCafé.
Victoria Secret filed four metaverse-related trademarks in February 2022 for the sale of virtual goods and services in online and virtual environments.
But also Levi's, Wrangler, Playboy, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren Versace, Vans, Chevron, Monster, Colgate...
In Europe
This is the number of trademark applications filed with the European Office (EUIPO) for products and services related to NFT, metavers, web3 in general, between January and August 2022 .
Some examples of deposits
The Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion filed an EU trademark in February 2022 for, among other things, " Organizing fashion shows for promotional purposes, including in virtual computer universes (metavers)" .
Yves Saint Laurent has filed an EU trademark April 2022 for " virtual goods featuring perfumes, toiletries, cosmetics (...) for use in the metaverse and other online virtual environments ".
The EU trademark " The Voice of " was registered in June 2022 and targets, among other things, "metaverse, augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, non-fungible tokens (NFT)"
Jean-Paul Gautier filed an EU trademark in August 2022 for " the provision of a metaverse for people to browse, buy (...) virtual perfumes (...), virtual clothes (...) in virtual environments created for entertainment purposes ".
Our legal recommendations
For all trademarks: audit previous trademark filings and, if necessary, re-file the trademarks by adapting the wording to the metavers, extending the protection of these trademarks to classes 9, 35, 41, 42.
Protect its typical logos and its essential graphic elements, the metaverse being an essentially visual universe, they tend to be used more than word marks.
Protecting your trademark in the United States:
U.S. law has a narrow conception of the notion of infringement in relation to the goods protected in the wording
- Infringement allows access to punitive damages
- Most metavers are governed by U.S. law
Without proper protection of their brands on the web3 , companies can be outgunned by illegitimate applicants:
In November 2021, an individual filed a trademark application for "GUCCI" related to the metaverse targeting classes 9, 35 and 41.
At the same time, another individual filed an application for the mark "PRADA " in relation to the metaverse in classes 9, 35 and 41
The United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected these applicationsthe two individuals had no connection with the two companies.

3.2 In copyright

Anything not expressly assigned is reserved to the author.
Anything that is not authorized is prohibited.
In practice
Check whether the contract provides or is likely to provide for exploitation of the copyrighted products in the metaverse.

The contract does not provide for exploitation in the metaverse, but it expressly provides for modes of exploitation not foreseeable or not foreseen at the date of the contract.
Our legal recommendations
It is recommended that the contract be amended by a rider.
Modify future contracts by inserting a clause providing for the exploitation of copyrighted products in the metaverse.

01. 04.

04. In conclusion, what should we remember?

Companies in all sectors will be legally impacted by the Metaverse phenomenon.
Concrete legal actions can be implemented now and in particular :
The adaptation of the perimeter of trademark protection so that it is compatible with the protection of virtual products and their distribution.
The adaptation of existing or future Intellectual Property contracts to integrate the economic reality of Metavers.
Find out more about the legal challenges of Metavers by watching the replay of our Webinar: Metavers: is your company legally ready for the internet of the future?
Is your company thinking about its legal strategy for development in Web3?
Let's discuss it!
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