The necessity for proper regulations to address intellectual property issues in the virtual world, particularly in the metaverse, was highlighted by experts at a conference in Dubai. As more firms transfer their operations online, protecting trademarks, patents, and other intellectual property is growing increasingly crucial. Experts stressed the need for collaboration between countries and an international policing body like Interpol to help resolve legal disputes in the virtual world.
Experts call for legislation and solutions to address intellectual property issues in the metaverse
During the 12th Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference for the Middle East and North Africa region, Ali bin Khatam, the senior advocate general Of Dubai Public Prosecution, emphasized the importance for companies to safeguard their trademarks and unique assets in the new virtual world.
He did acknowledge, though, that this mission is not simple from a legal standpoint, especially in the metaverse where defending intellectual property has its own unique challenges.
Ali bin Khatam, the senior advocate general of Dubai Public Prosecution, says that worries concerning trademark protection in virtual reality have arisen as a result of the development of the metaverse.
He questioned the necessity of trademark registration for businesses in the metaverse and stressed the demand for suitable legislation and solutions to address these problems.
he highlighted the issue of counterfeiting in the metaverse, explaining that it is currently easy to replicate existing trademarks from real life in the virtual world.
Also, it was mentioned that when a trademark from one virtual world is replicated in another, the problem becomes more difficult. In order to solve these difficulties and stop intellectual property violations in the metaverse, he emphasized the need for suitable legislation and protection.
Mr. bin Khatam, determining the jurisdiction of a criminal or civil matter that takes place in the metaverse is difficult for prosecutors.
“We are unsure as to whether the crime occurred in the UAE or in another nation. Laws become null and void as a result,” he said.
He claimed that cooperation between nations through an international law enforcement organization like Interpol would aid in bringing some clarity to the ability to decide cases.
According to Brig Jassim Al Antali of the Abu Dhabi Police Academy, the growing use of the metaverse requires the creation of proper legal frameworks to address potential problems.
MetaBirkin Case February 2022
In the “MetaBirkin” case, high-end clothing company Hermes won a legal battle with digital artist “CryptoBurbia” over the author’s creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring versions of the company’s Birkin handbag. The artist was ordered to stop exploiting the brand’s trademarks and to pay $450,000 for damages after a US court determined that the NFTs violated Hermes’ trademark. Because it sets a legal standard for instances involving NFTs and intellectual property infringement in the future, this case is noteworthy.
The following strategies can be used to handle and solve intellectual property issues in the metaverse
Create Clearly Defined Ownership Rights: The metaverse’s developers should clearly define who owns all virtual assets, such as avatars, virtual commodities, and intellectual property. Users can accomplish this through a licensing system, where they consent to specific use and ownership rules when producing or buying virtual assets.
Enable Copyright Protection: To avoid the illicit use of copyrighted content, the metaverse’s developers should put in place copyright protection measures. This can be done by requiring users to obtain permission before using copyrighted material or by using digital watermarks or other technologies to identify and protect copyrighted content.
Access to Legal Resources: The metaverse’s designers should give users access to legal resources to aid in defending their intellectual property. This may include providing users who have experienced intellectual property problems with information on copyright legislation and violation along with legal support.
Enhance Dispute Resolution: The creators of the metaverse should establish a system for resolving disputes related to intellectual property. This can include mediation or arbitration services to help users resolve disputes without going to court.
Collaboration with Intellectual Property Organizations: In order to establish best business practices for safeguarding intellectual property in the metaverse, the metaverse’s developers should work with intellectual property organizations. This can include working with organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to establish international standards and guidelines for protecting intellectual property in virtual environments.
When it comes to defending intellectual property rights, the metaverse poses a special set of difficulties. To address these problems and offer users a more safe and more fair environment, a number of solutions can be put into practice.
Clear ownership rights for virtual assets must be established, copyright protection mechanisms must be put in place, users must have access to legal resources, dispute resolution for intellectual property issues must be made possible, and best practices must be developed in conjunction with industry and community stakeholders. Users can avoid problems altogether by being informed about their rights and obligations with regard to intellectual property in the metaverse.