IP and Metaverse(S) - an Externally Commissioned Research Report

Published by the Intellectual Property Office, February 2024

Queen Mary Law Research Paper No. 427/2024

34 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2024

See all articles by Gaetano Dimita

Gaetano Dimita

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Yin Harn Lee

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS)

Michaela MacDonald

Queen Mary University of London - School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Anthony Catton

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS)

Zeynep Kubra Kavcar Penbegullu

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS)

Juan Alberto Pulido Lock

Queen Mary University of London

Date Written: February 1, 2023

Abstract

This report investigates potential intellectual property (IP) issues relating to the development of the Metaverse. It identifies common characteristics underpinning the vision of the Metaverse and focuses on those that have the most notable implications for IP. These characteristics, together with current, potential, and proposed technologies, inform the IP issues and challenges at the centre of this report. It addresses the limited discourse on the impact on IP and the necessity and/or desirability of IP reforms, as the Metaverse continues to encompass all the latest technology trends, spark imagination, and push the boundaries of possibilities. The key takeaways are that at the moment, there is no consensus of what the Metaverse specifically entails and whether and in what form we may experience and access it now or in the future. It is therefore difficult to anticipate any specific IP issues and challenges. However, it is possible to predict that a hybrid model (a series of Metaverses with different level of interconnections) is the most viable, alongside several large technological monopolies, dominating the different geographic and cultural regions. Secondly, standards, ethics and regulation will dominate the discourse going forward. Thirdly, The Metaverse is complex matrix of IP products and services and is persistent, infinite, and ever evolving. IP will therefore determine how the Metaverse is created, populated, and experienced, how users can migrate between them, and eventually, leave them. And finally, a definitive IP strategy for the Metaverse is yet to emerge.

Keywords: Metaverse, intellectual property, copyright, patents, trade marks, designs, interoperability, standards

Suggested Citation

Dimita, Gaetano and Lee, Yin Harn and MacDonald, Michaela and Catton, Anthony and Kavcar Penbegullu, Zeynep Kubra and Pulido Lock, Juan Alberto, IP and Metaverse(S) - an Externally Commissioned Research Report (February 1, 2023). Published by the Intellectual Property Office, February 2024, Queen Mary Law Research Paper No. 427/2024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4756583

Gaetano Dimita

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.qmul.ac.uk/law/people/academic-staff/items/dimita.html

Yin Harn Lee

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) ( email )

Michaela MacDonald (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London - School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science ( email )

Mile End Road, Mile End
London, England E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Anthony Catton

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) ( email )

Charterhouse Square
London, EC1M 6AX
United Kingdom

Zeynep Kubra Kavcar Penbegullu

Queen Mary University of London - Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS)

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Juan Alberto Pulido Lock

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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