Metaverse’s trademark applications were dropped

Brands flocked to file trademark applications for the metaverse earlier this year. Now, the number of such apps is declining, causing some to herald the end of the gold rush era.

Between January and October approx 5000 US trademark applications have been filed for metaverse and virtual goods or services, according to public filings, from brands including Nike, Adidas, and Tommy HilfigerAnd the leviAnd the Versace. In March, the number peaked at 773. The total for 2021 was 1,890. However, applications for October were only 334, half the number of applications in March, and are showing signs of abating, according to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney and founder of the law firm Gerben. Perrott, PLLC.

“The era of the Web3 gold rush is over,” Gerbin said. “The people who will file trademark applications going forward are likely to be companies that are doing serious business in this space. Speculators are likely to spend less and have fewer resources now than they did earlier this year.”

Marketing professionals have always known the importance of branding their brands to protect their identity in the real world. However, it’s a bit more complicated in the world of virtual reality, with ongoing high-profile issues, such as Nike Alleging that distributor StockX LLC infringed the trademark’s intellectual property by including its logo in the NFT pool.

“What’s being sold in the metaverse is computer code when it’s rendered by a virtual reality system to look like a shoe,” said Michael Kondodis, trademark and patent attorney at law firm Michael Kondodis. “Brands have realized that the easiest way to fix this gap in protection is to file a metaverse trademark application and list virtual goods and services.”

Protection from digital appearance

Brands want to protect their IP and, ultimately, be the only party monetizing digital likeness and services in the metaverse.

By introducing brands, [companies] “It has more power to monitor brand activity and protect against digital appearance,” said Greg Kahn, CEO of GK Digital Ventures. “Companies should prepare for Web3 by conducting an audit of all of their existing brand portfolios. They should ensure that they introduce any new applications that will cover new classes of goods or services that could become possible in the metaverse or Web3 environments.”

At the same time, brands are looking at what their competitors are doing in the metaverse. For example, after Nike’s trademark application in November 2021, brands like Puma, Adidas, and Reebok followed suit.

“Most of the applications were speculative rather than based on actual plans,” Gerbin said. This means that even though brands have filed for trademark applications, they may not have immediate plans to launch campaigns in the metaverse but have up to four years to do so. Currently, McDonald’s and CVS are patenting key brand elements in anticipation of their growing reverse presence.

Trademarks consider trademark filings a cost-effective mechanism for protecting their trademarks, compared to exorbitant legal fees. The cost of filing a trademark in the metaverse ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 for larger companies, including legal fees, according to sources.

The apps refer to the brand’s metaverse strategies

Generic trademark filings give an indication of the brand’s intent in the metaverse.

Applications from fashion brands such as Tommy HilfigerAnd the leviAnd the Versace Show that these companies aim to create an immersive experience like a chance for people to take part in virtual fashion shows, similar to Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week featuring brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss.

Likewise chain restaurants Chuck E CheeseHis trademark application states his “intent to create “virtual arcades, concerts, and theatrical performances” in the metaverse.

Other brands are seeking revenue streams with simpler virtual meeting spaces. For example, Wendy’s, in partnership with Meta Horizon Worlds, launched a virtual restaurant called Wendyverse in April. Similarly, Capital One has included the virtual coffee shop in its branding application.

“It seems like a straightforward way to monetize the metaverse where you can have a hundred people in your meeting space while running ads on virtual walls,” Kondoudis said.

Notable barriers to trademark applications, and metaverse activations, are insurance companies and healthcare groups, given the complex regulations required to navigate, such as the Health Insurance Accountability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), before entering the metaverse.

Leave a Comment