Intellectual Property Rights in The Metaverse

29 Jul 2022
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Intellectual property (IP) is considered as creations of your mind, like inventions, literary, artistic works, designs & images used in commerce. And these IPs are protected by some laws such as patent, copyright & trademark. Intellectual property rights enable people to earn recognition & get financial benefits from their inventions. Intellectual property in the metaverse is the ownership of virtual property. In the Metaverse, any virtual object can be owned and traded by an individual or a company. This includes land, buildings, digital items, and currency.

As Meta has announced to develop their own metaverse for both entertainment & working purposes a lot of things will be changed towards the creation of products & services. The tech industry is yet to witness an immediate impact on finance, education, entertainment literally everything. Amidst all these things, there is a big question arises that- what will be the intellectual property rights associated with the digital creation or components in the metaverse. The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) has stated that they have experienced a rise in the number of trademark applications to protect goods & services in a virtual space, which is now referred to as the metaverse.

With the emergence of new technologies, it is becoming more difficult to determine what should be considered intellectual property law and what should not. According to the advancement of the internet and its evolution, blockchain technology, and the application of intellectual property have changed dramatically in recent years. Hence,  the area of intellectual property law is also rapidly changing in the Metaverse. As metaverse allows creators & artists to create content & use content, there will be an array of potential challenges to tracking their intellectual property.

Protect Intellectual Property in a Digital Space

There is good news for both individuals and companies who have planned for business models around content creation that their intellectual property can be protected even in digital space. Copyright and patent law are not enough to protect intellectual property in the metaverse. In order to protect your IP in the metaverse, you will need to use a combination of copyright, patent law, and trademark law. The metaverse may force updates to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that are specific to virtual world regulation. Though the IP laws vary depending on the metaverse platform some common strategies are: 

  1. Copywriting sensitive or important digital content
  2. Digital signatures are a type of electronic signature that is used to verify the authenticity and integrity of a file. These signatures are used to ensure that no one has tampered with the content of the file after it was signed.
  3. Relying on some solid & appropriate contract clauses that ensure there is no dispute about the ownership of content.
  4. Incorporating AI technologies to identify violations infringement and theft of digital intellectual property.
  5. Increasing manpower & resources to identify and enforce IP law.
  6. Blockchain technology can be used with smart contracts that help to have ownership  & the rights of digital property. Blockchain & smart contracts are going to be an essential part of IP laws in the metaverse.

 

Future of Intellectual Property Rules in Metaverse

 

Intellectual property may be the most important asset in 3D virtual worlds just like metaverse on behalf of Meta. With the creation & development of the digital assets, guarding those assets will become a complex process as well as facing new legal challenges. The development of the virtual world already introduced a lot of issues like- IP licensing, copyrights, digital trademarks patents & other legal issues. In near future, intellectual property will appear with new sets of non-traditional trademarks & new patentable VR/AR-related technology. Maybe there will occur additional issues related to the confidentiality of digital assets. 

In the metaverse, protecting trade secrets will be more than just signing a non-disclosure agreement or limitation of access via biometric technology. Artificial intelligence will be deployed by many companies to enforce IP laws while identifying potential violations. Already big media companies like Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon & Google have incorporated AI for security, customer care & network orchestration. If you ask, how AI can be used to protect IP laws, then for an example AI algorithm will be developed to scan law violations like- unauthorized use of digital assets.

All these above-mentioned points raise some fundamental questions- Is your digital content safe in the Metaverse? How can you monetize & protect your content? & what sort of legal action will be in place for any kind of violation? To be honest, many of the questions remain unanswered as the metaverse is still in its early development stages.

 

The book "Metaverse - The Future is Here" is a good resource for understanding and learning the Metaverse technology. You will get detailed information on the Metaverse's origins, evolution, how we can access it, the various Metaverse platforms available, and the technologies required to power it; apart from the basics, the book also discusses elaborately how can businesses enter the Metaverse, different kinds of Metaverse marketing strategies, its use cases for various industries, social and legal impacts, and discusses what the Metaverse will look like in the future.

 

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For any metaverse development service in Dubai, check our website and portfolio to see our previous works. Contact us via email at info@royex.net or call us at +971566027916 with your requirements, only then we can tell you the development cost precisely.

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