Queen Mary Carries Out Investigation Into Metaverse IPs

Queen Mary Carries Out Investigation Into Metaverse IPs

The Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute (QMIPRI) has released a new report that explores the possible effects of the Metaverse on IP rights. 

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) commissioned the report, which aims to inform the organization’s vision and policy regarding the creation, development, and application of Metaverse. Under UKIPO’s jurisdiction, the Metaverse may have an impact on trademarks, designs, copyrights, patents, and enforcement. 

Also read: WEF Report Shows US Firms Embrace Industrial Metaverse

Dr. Gaetano Dimita, Dr. Yin Harn Lee (University of Bristol), Dr. Michaela MacDonald, Dr. Anthony Michael Catton, Zeynep Kubra Kavcar Penbegullu, and Juan Alberto Pulido Lock are the authors of this report. It also looks at how the results can support UKIPO’s ongoing transformation program.

IPs in the metaverse

Though it is still in its infancy, the metaverse holds out the possibility of a time when the real and virtual worlds will merge. Dr Gaetano Dimita said that this convergence presents both opportunities and challenges for intellectual property. He added that while some issues, like jurisdiction and enforcement, echo debates from the early days of the internet, the Metaverse’s unique characteristics necessitate a fresh look at how IP rights will be protected.

The report underscores how critical it is to rectify current IP framework deficiencies to guarantee that the Metaverse promotes innovation while upholding user rights. 

Additionally, Dr. Michaela MacDonald stated that the potential disruption caused by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence is also a cause for concern, as it raises questions about human oversight and potential circumvention of legal frameworks.

As the Metaverse is constantly changing, the report recognizes that it is challenging to forecast individual IP problems. On the other hand, it indicates that the most likely scenario is a hybrid model with dominant regional players alongside interconnected “Metaverses”. 

Human-centric design in the metaverse

The importance of human-centered design principles in forming future IP strategies for the Metaverse is emphasized in the report. Dr. Yin Harn Lee said, “Standards, ethics, and regulations are expected to be at the forefront of discussions moving forward.”

One of the main themes is the complexity of the Metaverse, which is defined as an ongoing, dynamic matrix of intellectual property goods and services. According to the report, IP will have a significant impact on how the Metaverse is developed, populated, and used, including how users move between different Metaverses.

Although a clear intellectual property strategy for the Metaverse is still a ways off, the report suggests using a human-centric design approach as the foundation for any future policy development. 

Concerns in the metaverse

According to the report, the IP issues and challenges that have arisen in the context of the Metaverse are, for the most part, not new. Many of them have been present ever since the Internet and related digital technologies came into widespread use. The debates around jurisdiction and enforcement in the Metaverse, for instance, echo those around the regulation of cyberspace that took place in the mid-1990s. 

Likewise, concerns raised by the prospect of large-scale trademark and copyright infringement in the Metaverse are reminiscent of those raised by the unauthorized use of trademarks and copyright-protected works in virtual worlds. These remain live issues in the Metaverse space because they were addressed imperfectly – or not addressed at all – when they initially arose in the context of the Internet and digitization.

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