As more businesses enter the Metaverse, there is a tendency toward greater trademark filings in the "virtual" classes. This blog has previously discussed the trend here and here. While the SPB Team does not follow trends blindly, we are urging all of our trademark clients (even the most "conservative") to file trademarks covering goods and services connected to the Metaverse right now.
New opportunities for growing your brand
Entering the Metaverse is a great way to reach out to more customers in a new world and collect data on how people behave and act in the Metaverse. Data obtained in the Metaverse can be used to boost real-world sales. This data can then be used to boost sales and brand exposure in both the real world and the Metaverse.
Many businesses are adopting NFT technology to raise brand awareness, retain customers, and generate new revenue streams. On the NFT commerce platform Opensea, Budweiser, for example, created a line of NFTs with customizable beer cans. For example, Adidas provides NFTs as a keepsake for participants in actual or virtual events.
Why you need new trademark registrations now
The number of new trademark applications filed with the EUIPO, UKIPO, and USPTO to register trademarks for use in virtual reality is on the rise. With more businesses joining the Metaverse, adopting a brand protection strategy is becoming increasingly crucial.
Even if you do not intend to market NFTs or other digital assets in the near future, it is prudent to take trademark precautions today. As our US colleagues Deborah Lodge and Shyloah Daniel recently reported on this blog, Hermès has filed a lawsuit against "MetaBirkin" NFTs developed by digital artist Mason Rothschild. While reputation protection may extend to the Metaverse, the hurdles for substantiating claims are typically higher, and in some countries, the reputation level may not be met.
A trademark registration in Classes 09, 35, 41, and 42 can be significant in such instances. Because there will be so many infringements on Metaverse platforms, trademark registrations in these classes may be necessary by platform operators in order to perform takedown processes.
We also advise filing new trademarks to build a foundation for future revenue streams through licencing. It may become critical to ascertain who retains the rights to advertise things in the Metaverse in existing licence contracts. Additional agreements that restrict the usage of the trademark in the Metaverse are essential to avoid misunderstandings. Right owners are highly advised to extend the extent of their brand's protection to the digital realm before going into re-negotiations with licensees.
We are here to help you
We are delighted to accompany you into this uncharted zone. We ensure that your brand strategy keeps up with a world of limitless possibilities and inventiveness by combining our well-established trademark prosecution techniques with worldwide competence in copyright and patents, data protection and software, commercial, antitrust, and litigation.
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