The Metaverse and Its IP Implications – It is still a “Wild, Wild West” out there

The topic of the Metaverse has generated a great deal of enthusiasm and debate in recent months. For example, Facebook changed its name to “Meta” with lots of fanfare. In another headline, Nike purchased an NFT (non-fungible token) designer company, RTFKT Studios, and appeared ready to use virtual athletic shoe NFTs to generate exposure, as well as to begin selling virtual shoes. Also, a personal injury law firm in New Jersey decided to open an office in Decentraland, claiming to be the first-ever personal injury law firm in the Metaverse.

Even more recently, as of the week of 2 February 2022, a major law firm is opening a virtual office in the Metaverse in the fashion and retail district of browser-based 3D platform Decentraland.[1][2] It is the first major law firm to open in the Metaverse.

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构建一个全方位的知识产权策略

创新是企业在市场竞争中脱颖而出或屹立不倒的硬实力。一个创新的社会不但可以让本地市场充满活力,也可以使整个国家在国际市场上更具竞争力。知识产权一方面代表着企业的创新成果,另一方面也意味着企业在该竞争领域内建立了一定程度的保护屏障。习近平主席和中央政府近期也就全面加强知识产权工作作出重大部署,其中包括印发《知识产权强国建设纲要(2021-2035年)》。该纲要对中国知识产权事业未来发展蓝图进行了规划,充分彰显了中国想要建设成为知识产权强国的决心。

笔者曾在一家知名跨国企业担任知识产权(Intellectual Property, “IP”)顾问多年,愿借此平台梳理一下笔者在IP领域的实战经验并与各位同仁分享。对于涉足高科技产业的企业来说,专利与商业秘密是企业经常使用的保护研发成果的两种方法,保护的都是以技术为背景的改进或发明。

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Intellectual Property Protection

 

What does IP mean?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP represents property rights and is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, industrial design and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.

What advantages do IP confer upon a company?

Companies, large and small, need to set themselves apart from others in order to compete successfully in the market place. For technology companies, their R&D efforts are often captured as inventions and proprietary technology. Inventions and proprietary technology are generally protected as patents and trade secrets, respectively. Without adequate protection, which often requires setting up an internal process to document and harvest the fruits of their R&D efforts, companies would be replaced by competitors, and lose out. Companies such as Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Nvidia, Apple, and Huawei are such IP owners, to name just a few.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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