The nascent metaverse, which is an immersive online world that incorporates an enhanced reality with other emerging technologies, is welcoming new brands on a daily basis. Amid the rise of NFTs and Web3, the next iteration of the internet, brands ranging from Nike to defunct Blockbuster have actively sought to claim prospective assets by filing trademarks. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has seen a surge of registrations for brands to protect themselves in these digital worlds.
“This was not on my radar 12 months ago and now it’s an everyday conversation I’m having,” said trademark attorney Josh Gerben. “It shows you how real this technology is getting.” Gerben notes his firm Gerben Intellectual Property has seen an influx of companies filing trademark applications to offer virtual goods.
But it is unclear just yet whether all the brands that have filed such trademarks are doing so to roll out virtual goods, or if they are just trying to protect their brands in the next iteration of the internet. Nike filed a suit against online reseller StockX earlier this month, for selling unauthorized images of Nike shoes. It marks the first trademark lawsuit around NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, but it certainly is unlikely it will be the last.
Here's a look at some of the brands that have recently filed trademarks related to the metaverse and the potential plans for virtual worlds.