A number of big brand companies are taking the opportunity to review their existing trade mark protection and expand into the "metaverse".
In addition to Nike's new filings covering "downloadable virtual goods", "retail store services for virtual goods" and "entertainment services...for use in virtual environments" last year, Walmart, Sketchers, Panera and McDonald's have recently filed new applications covering the digital world.
Panera and McDonald's new applications are particularly interesting in that they cover the sale of both real and virtual goods, foreseeing a world where the real world and digital world combine. I suspect is likely to become the norm as brands seek to find new ways to connect to old and new consumers and increase their sales. These will not be the only brands to enter into the digital realm and update their IP accordingly.
This is a trend that cannot be ignored and now is a good time to review trade mark protection in this space.
“I think you’re going to see every brand that you can think of make these filings within the next 12 months,” Gerben added. “I don’t think anyone wants to be the next Blockbuster and just completely ignore a new technology that’s coming.”