Acquisition of land, sale of products and services…, the possibilities in the metaverse are multiple for brands. But by offering an immersive experience to their consumers, large retailers are sometimes confronted with virtual counterfeiting or abuse of intellectual property.
The case of the Aura Blockchain consortium
To guard against this, one of the levers exploited by brands is the creation of partnerships. By joining forces, LVMH (owner of “Les Echos”), Prada, Cartier and OTB Group have created the Aura Blockchain consortium, a secure platform that ensures better traceability of products sold.
A small revolution in the world of luxury, since these historically competing brands use the same technology to ensure the authenticity of their products: digital doubles, represented in the form of NFTs, non-fungible tokens. Everything, secured by ConsenSys technology and by Microsoft, generates a certificate for each product, allowing the owner to ensure its uniqueness. Extra protection, both in the real world and in the metaverse. Because with the creation of an NFT, all the data relating to the product will be registered in the blockchain.
The importance of NFTs
This is the method chosen by two retail giants, Carrefour and Casino, to protect their products and their investments in the metaverse. For Nicolas Joly, president of Casino Immobilier, “as far as copyright is concerned, NFTs make it possible to regulate our exchanges and guarantee ownership of the product in the metaverse”.
When the Carrefour group sold its NFBEEs, bees in NFT, at the price of 15 euros, their code was registered on the blockchain “which allows anyone to consult the stages of life of an NFT. In this way, if someone tries to reproduce an NFBEE, buyers will see that it was not issued by Carrefour via The Sandbox”, explains Nicolas Safis, innovation director at Carrefour.
Marks specific to the metaverse
To guarantee their intellectual property in the metaverse, brands can also extend their protection legally. For Aurélie Dantzikian-Frachon, associated with the firm Lamy Lexel, it is necessary “to make trademark registrations in the classes specific to the virtual universe, in order to protect the representation and use of the products there”.
More concretely, register marks in classes 9 (downloadable virtual goods), 35 (sale of virtual goods) and 41 (entertainment services intended for use in virtual environments). In addition, in the context of a trademark license, “we must ensure that its authorized use is adapted to the virtual world, and adapt future contracts as such”, specifies the lawyer. The boundary between real and virtual world being porous, unauthorized use of trademarks in the metaverse may be qualified as counterfeiting.
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Metavers: how to protect your brand in this new virtual space
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