More and more companies have started to adapt their business strategies considering all-new blockchain technologies (NFT – non-fungible tokens) and the future metaverse – a digital world that will mimic the real one.
What draws our attention from an intellectual property point of view is that many big companies have started to file trademark applications for a variety of so-called virtual goods such as virtual burgers, virtual clothes, virtual shoes, etc.
At first glance, this may sound abstract and even silly but behind the scenes, it can be a completely new business opportunity. Imagine a virtual world where every avatar will be able to buy unique digital goods in the form of NFTs in order to support its social status. This can be a huge new opportunity for many companies to expand their sales into a new category representing virtual goods. And because the goods will mimic the real ones, they will be branded which in turn requires trademark protection. This will help companies to control who and how can offer virtual goods with their brands. This means profit.
In light of this, The English Premier League filed the following two US trademarks for goods such as – downloadable virtual goods for use online and in online virtual worlds; Downloadable virtual goods, namely, computer programs featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, sportswear, football shirts, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment:
In that way, the English Premier League will be able to monopolize ist signs for use in the metaverse securing a tool for fighting against infringers.
There is a good chance such intellectual property protection strategy to become a key factor for the future virtual business models.