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Many companies have taken the necessary steps to protect their Intellectual Property in the Metaverse.

The metaverse was coined by Snow Crash in 1992 book Snow Crash. “So Hiro’s not actually here at all. He’s in a computer-generate universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones. In the lingo, this imaginary place is know as the metaverse. Hiro spends a lot of time in the Meters. It beast the shit out of the U-Stor-It.”

It can be argued that video game developers have been driving the innovation surrounding the metaverse.  For example:

  • Second Life is one of the first games where a user can create and explore a new world. It allowed the user to create anything and then compete for fame.
  • Another game that has created large worlds for multiple players is the Call of Duty of franchise. Call of Duty has first released on September 14, 2004 and since then has been on of the biggest game series where users can go online and play with thousands of other players.   

So what exactly is the Metaverse?

  1. It is an immersive virtual world built on blockchain technology that will host virtual economies where people will use Avatars that can be modified to fit the users preference.
  2. It relies on electronics with augmented and mixed reality capabilities that will bridge the physical world with the virtual world.
  3. It is governed by a decentralized and is autonomous.

Some of the key components that the metaverse will provide its users is:

  1. Social Connectivity through virtual, augmented reality and avatars;
  2. It will provide a virtual space for work, education, and entertainment
  3. It will provide a digital marketplace and new ways for users to build and create unique items for this virtual world.

So, what are your Intellectual Property rights in this virtual world? Luckily they are the same as in the real world. Copyright, Trademark and Patents are your main source of protection. However there is no easy way to monitor these virtually.

Decentraland and The Sandbox have there own licensing rights when you upload your content to those respective platforms. For example, The Sandbox’s terms of use state that “[y]ou may make your Assets and Games available for purchase in The Sandbox. Each Asset is a non-fungible token (a “NFT”) on the blockchain. When you upload an Asset and make it available for sale in The Sandbox marketplace, you retain ownership of all intellectual property rights associated with such Asset but you agree to make a certain number of the Assets available for sale as NFTs. End users who purchase the Asset own that underlying, purchased NFT completely and have the right to sell, trade, donate, give away, transfer, or otherwise dispose of the NFT as they see fit; provided, however, that each Asset will be tokenized so that it will have provable scarcity and proof of ownership.” https://www.sandbox.game/en/terms-of-use/

In addition it states, “1.2 License. You hereby grant (and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant) to Company an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free and fully paid, worldwide license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, prepare derivative works of, incorporate into other works, and otherwise use and exploit your User Content, and to grant sublicenses of the foregoing rights, solely for the purposes of including your User Content in the Site. You hereby irrevocably waive (and agree to cause to be waived) any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to your User Content.” Id. When you upload your original content you are granting The Sandbox a license to use your intellectual property.

So What Can you do to Protect your IP in the Metaverse?

In the metaverse you can do the following to help protect your intellectual property:

  1. Use smart contract NGTs to protect yourself in advance.
  2. Use DMCA takedown notices to send to the platform that is hosting the infringing content.
  3. When you enter the Metaverse world be proactive in protecting you IP.

Conclusion

For questions regarding the metaverse and how to protect your original work or brand in the metaverse please contact Clark Proffitt or Burt Skiba at Accelerate IP to handle these matters.

Picture create by: Virtual technology photo created by freepik

Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

Understanding patent law is crucial for innovators and inventors seeking to protect their groundbreaking ideas. One aspect that often comes into play is 35 USC 101, the statute governing patent-eligible subject matter. In recent years, the landmark case of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International has significantly influenced how this statute is interpreted.

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