On 16 November 2022, partners Joel Smith and Sahira Khwaja and other members of our London brands team, hosted a client seminar on the ‘Metaverse’, including a lively panel discussion with Nicola Wood, Chartered Trade Mark Attorney from Group Legal at Vodafone and Simon Baggs, President of Brand and Content Protection at Corsearch, together with Oliver Wilson, Counsel in our Commercial and Regulatory team at Hogan Lovells. The seminar included sessions on: key commercial issues to consider when structuring deals for the Metaverse or NFTs, filing strategies for protecting your brand in the Metaverse and IP enforcement in a virtual world. In this article we summarize some of the key points that our clients took away from the evening.
Commercial issues when structuring deals in the MetaverseAfter a brief introduction to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse, including an explanation of the various, multiple metaverses which currently exist (referred to collectively as the ‘Metaverse’), Joel Smith, together with associate Andrea Constantine, discussed what to consider when structuring deals in the Metaverse, such as the sale of an NFT. Joel said that managing and allocating risk in contracts is critical to setting up virtual stores, offering digital assets and opening new platforms in the Metaverse. Andrea emphasised that, in order to avoid disputes, it is important to be precise about what you are (or are not) selling, setting up or offering access to, in terms of the digital asset, the virtual store or the metaverse platform (the “Virtual Offering”). Whilst many businesses, particularly luxury brands, are keen to make a foray into the Metaverse, these are some of the questions which brand owners should be considering first: