A headache for both Nike and Apple: How to provide copyright protection for Metaverse?

Many people have determined the next frontier direction of the Internet, more broadly the so-called “Metaverse”, which can also be understood as virtual reality, that is, the three-dimensional digital environment in augmented reality. It can be used not only through smartphones, PCs, or Connecting a series of devices such as VR devices and sensors will also make the barriers between online and offline become minimal. (Editor’s note: The concept of Metaverse here is only the author’s opinion)

This anticipated revolution will soon affect the legal profession, especially in the areas of intellectual property (trademarks, patents, copyrights, related rights), IT (infrastructure, IP addresses, domain names, rights to share platforms) and privacy.

Therefore, the traditional categories of industrial law and intellectual property rights are likely to need to be expanded and reshaped to reflect the legal needs of this unique digital environment .

The purpose of this article is to explore the scenarios that interact with Metaverse may present the world of digital assets.


Regional protection and trademark issues

As we all know, intellectual property is used to protect the form of expression presented by human thought, whether it is an invention, a distinctive mark, or a form of work of art.

Although copyright is created at the moment the work itself (story, painting, song) is created, inventions and trademarks are based on the “recognition” of the legal system as a prerequisite. This recognition means that in a country that adheres to the intellectual property system, The registration certificate is issued by the local competent authority.

In terms of this framework that recognizes the territorial principle of intellectual property rights, the Internet has changed the rules of the game: on the one hand, it is now possible to directly collect evidence of patent or trademark infringement, on the other hand, it is not always easy for websites to determine that such infringement has occurred. From a procedural point of view, this has a complicated process .

In the Metaverse, these situations will become more complicated.

For example, imagine an internet celebrity who does not market a specific brand of sweaters in the form of publishing photos, but makes his virtual person wear the brand’s clothes and walk the show in the digital Milan Fashion Week in the Metaverse.

This use of a brand will, on the one hand, exponentially increase the number of consumers interested in it, so there is an urgent need to protect its related geographic scope; on the other hand, it will also cause the validity and effectiveness of trademarks in the virtual world. Several issues with effective use.

A headache for both Nike and Apple: How to provide copyright protection for Metaverse?

In this regard, the US multinational company Nike recently applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office for seven different trademarks to distinguish virtual shoes and clothing items. This is very worthy of our thinking.
Other companies are likely to follow the same example, especially considering that the fashion industry is opening many positions for “virtual material designers” jobs, which will expand the number of virtual objects that need to be protected.

Regardless of whether such assumptions are valid, it will be reasonable to investigate the direction of use of digital assets in Metaverse .

Another problem is how to collect evidence of infringement of intellectual property rights in the Metaverse, and how to measure the prejudice generated by forged virtual objects in the case of subsequent quantification of the damage caused by the infringement.

If the Metaverse will develop in the direction that many people expect, then the problems described above must not be underestimated, but so far no one has given a clear answer.


Patent protection in Metaverse

In early November 2021, Apple filed a patent with the U.S. Patent Office to enable certain subjects in Metaverse to be “invisible” (removed from Metaverse).
Cupertino company proposes a creative solution: protection includes providing a way for future users of Metaverse to remove subjects who violate the interaction rules set by users from their virtual experience.

In other words, if the subject’s avatar offends or attacks another person’s avatar in various ways, the latter will be able to “stop” him, just like there are already cases in current social media .

Generally speaking, patent applications need to be approved by relevant departments, but the news shows that there are already technical solutions designed specifically for Metaverse.

The areas that such solutions attract people’s attention are of course video games and e-sports. In fact, patent protection has been granted to software that can develop new features or solve certain technical problems in games (such as features in online multiplayer games).

Meta (the former Facebook company) has also applied for a number of patents related to Metaverse, including a system that can change the user’s virtual experience based on the content that is most likely to generate a user response at any given time.

However, with the opening of new horizons of experimentation and innovation, potential interoperability issues between the Metaverse architecture and the programs based on its practical applications also arise.

If the universe is determined to become Yuan environment that anyone can access, thus becoming a true virtual world space physics alternatives, then used to build the proper interaction between its technology is absolutely crucial to be .

In this sense, it is necessary to pay special attention in order to implement common standards for all operators through the well-known FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing) tool.


Copyright issues in Metaverse

The immediacy of dissemination in the Metaverse should also make it easier for people to understand the existence and validity of the copyright of content creators.

The authenticity of the virtual environment will make it easier for people to understand which content is free and open to the public, and which content belongs only to authors and performers.
In fact, when surfing the Internet, users often have the impression that everything (books, songs, movies) in digital format is provided for free because they are all on the Internet.

However, it is reasonably foreseeable that in a virtual environment that simulates reality, the illegality of pirated computer behaviors is more obvious , because they will be immediately regarded as real thefts and therefore more likely to be stigmatized.

Similarly, in view of the traceability of online activities that many users participate in, it is more traceable than their “face-to-face” activities. Therefore, in Metaverse, the act of controlling the dissemination of protected works (such as songs) to the public may be better than It’s easier in physical reality. It may also be implemented from the design of Metaverse, specifically used to identify the control system and security system that infringe on intellectual property rights.



Creating a permanent and universally accessible virtual reality, such as Metaverse, may be as innovative as the Internet’s innovation in our society. The news and issues of interest that are spreading in the news indicate that, in the long run, the metaverse will replace the real world as our (most) professional and social life.

Then it is necessary to reflect on the fact that we must be more aware of the challenges and potentials that network virtual reality may bring, and let us more responsibly prevent its risks and dangers, and use the mature technologies and technologies that the Internet has accumulated so far. Judicial experience to assist us.

From a legal point of view, Metaverse has also opened up virtual scenes that have been unimaginable until now. However, we believe that from now on, with the contributions of all relevant participants (developers, users, institutions), it is necessary to predict and evaluate the foreseeable scenarios and the risks that follow .

In fact, this may be a starting point for rethinking the introduction of special regulatory opportunities that can at least supervise the foreseeable problems that are very new in the metaverse, thereby reducing the “emergency” that occurs with the development of the metaverse. And special issues.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/a-headache-for-both-nike-and-apple-how-to-provide-copyright-protection-for-metaverse/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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