United States: Property in the Metaverse and 2022 Fashion Tech Predictions with Vogue Business
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Withers’ global head of fashion tech, Gina Bibby, was featured in two recent Vogue Business articles about the future of fashion tech as we look to the new year, including the race for owning the fashion metaverse and intellectual property, and more general fashion tech predictions for 2022.
The Vogue Business article, ‘How to trademark on the metaverse‘, reports that luxury fashion brands are racing to take ownership of their presence in virtual spaces, including NFTs, game worlds and 3D. This race impacts brands whether or not they are still active in the metaverse, and brands are filing metaverse-focused patents and trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO ) and defend their intellectual property in court.
Gina, who advises clients on IP considerations in the Metaverse, agrees, “The increase in IP filings indicates that conducting business in the virtual world is an increasingly high priority for brands, and probably necessary to stay relevant and competitive.
The rise in intellectual property filings indicates that conducting business in the virtual world is an increasingly high priority for brands, and likely necessary to stay relevant and competitive.
Intellectual Property Protection of Trademarks in the Metaverse
“Ownership in the metaverse may not be the same as ownership in the physical world,” Gina warns in the post. So what are the best practices for brands looking to protect their intellectual property in the metaverse? Gina recommends that “brands register trademarks with the USPTO and foreign equivalents, consider subscribing to a trademark watch service, and before threatening trademark infringement, evaluate the nature and use trademarks, as not all uses in the metaverse are ‘actionable’.”
Other priority topics expected in luxury fashion for 2022 are legal and ethical issues related to NFTs. In the article, ‘Fashion-tech predictions 2022‘, Gina warns that ‘the pace of technological change often exceeds the ability of laws to adapt’, adding that, for intellectual property owners, ‘proper licensing and distribution agreements are not in place and the nature pervasiveness of the metaverse makes it harder to track violators,” presenting a challenge in intellectual property rights enforcement.
Despite this challenge, the metaverse and growth of NFTs present an opportunity for luxury fashion brands to invest in exclusivity and consumer loyalty.
To see the full article, ‘How to trademark on the metaverse‘, published by Vogue Business on January 11, 2022, please click here.
To see the full article, ‘Fashion-tech predictions 2022‘, published by Vogue Business on January 4, 2022, please click here.
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