The metaverse and related technologies like virtual goods, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain, represent a fundamental shift in how we interact with the internet, as the distinction between our activity online and in real life begins to blur. These emerging technologies present enormous opportunities for businesses, but bring with them a number of difficult legal challenges.
For some time, in Australia and many other jurisdictions, it was not clear whether current trade mark registrations for physical goods and services would sufficiently protect brands in the virtual world. Over the past 12 to 18 months, many jurisdictional intellectual bodies including the European Union Intellectual Property Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office, United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office and World Intellectual Property Organization have released guidelines which clarify the appropriate ways to classify and describe goods and services relating to these types of emerging technologies. See, for example, our blog post on the guidelines released in the United Kingdom. Read more