As major brands become more and more involved in the development and participation in the Metaverse, new challenges arise in the protection and enforcement of trademark rights in this untapped virtual world.
As part of its Global Metaverse trademark portfolio, Nike’s applications
Some of these applications
Not a party to WIPO,
“Meta” or “Metaverse”-formative mark
According to data released by TIPO, the number of applications containing the word “meta” or “metaverse” has increased since 2021. But can these marks be registered?
Under Article 29.1 of the Taiwan Trademark Law, a mere description mark consisting only of a description of the quality, purpose of use, material, place of origin, or related characteristics of the specified goods or services cannot be registered because it has no unique characteristics. .. ..
After searching TIPO’s online database, TIPO questioned the unique registerability of some “meta” or “metaverse” formation marks because they describe the specified virtual goods and services. I found out that. In local practice, approaches to increase the enrollability of such marks submit them in combination with other distinctive words / devices or prove the existence of secondary meaning through their use. That is.
In addition, if you are trying to register a “meta” or “metaverse” formation mark for “real world” products that are essentially away from virtual products and services such as cosmetics and perfumes for facial care and beauty. Since the source of the product, not the product itself, is properly identified, there is a good chance that the “Metaverse” formation mark will be successfully registered.
Not surprisingly, using virtual products (such as virtual apparel) with other people’s registered trademarks in the Metaverse (such as worn by avatars) can pose legal issues. If a trademark registered in connection with Class 25 “Genuine Clothing” is used in Metaverse’s “Virtual Clothing”, then the Virtual Clothing is a genuine clothing company, ie, the trademark owner.
Whether and how
To be cautious, Metaverse developers should perform a trademark availability search before releasing a virtual product in the Metaverse. This helps determine if a pre-registration / application exists and helps avoid the risk of using other brands. Virtual products / services.
If the stylized brand meets the requirements of “creativity and creativity”, you are entitled to copyright protection in addition to trademark registration. Therefore, unless “fair use” protection is established, unauthorized reproduction of a trademark subject to copyright protection of the “virtual product” used in the Metaverse avatar may lead to copyright infringement.
The above gives just a few examples of the legal issues already raised by the Metaverse, but as the Metaverse continues to evolve to challenge the unprecedented and established legal situation in this regard, it has jurisdiction. Other complex issues such as rights, contracts and privacy issues will definitely arise. It is not yet known if and how the legal system applicable to the registration and use of trademarks in the real world will be extended to the virtual world.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject. Expert advice should be sought for certain situations.
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