The virtual world is not exempt from questionable commercial tactics – just like the real world. The same regulations apply online, but sometimes enforcing them is challenging.
A three-dimensional online environment called the metaverse provides businesses and clients fresh, creative marketing and consumption opportunities.
Sporting goods companies Adidas and Nike introduced their own NFT collections. The first Metaverse Fashion Week took place in the 3D world “Decentraland,” with over 70 labels, artists, and designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, and Forever 21.
H&M also presents a selection of collections in a virtual showroom. Customers can experience the Metaverse that is hardly imaginable in the real world. The Metaverse, however, is not immune to questionable business tactics by market participants, much like the real world.
Defending Oneself Against Trademark Infringement
In the Metaverse, offering fake products and product theft are both serious risks. A user discovers a deceptively real-looking Rolex while shopping in the metaverse and may purchase it at a very low cost.
Trading in branded counterfeit goods bears the risk of legal, criminal, and administrative repercussions offline and on the conventional Internet. The Metaverse follows the same guidelines.
Because the products are always made online, virtual businesses should be handled legally like traditional sales platforms. The virtual world in which users communicate through avatars is the only distinction.
The trademark owner can consequently claim injunctive relief, removal, a suitable fee, and damages against trademark infringements. The law allows for fines and even imprisonment if a trademark is used commercially infringingly.
Similar laws apply to copyright violations in the Metaverse, such as when a copyrighted painting is “tokenized” and sold as an NFT without the creator’s permission.
With the help of the best crypto bot that helps gain cryptocurrency, users can easily purchase NFTs, which are virtual, non-exchangeable proofs of ownership for digital assets.
Litigation in the USA
Cases involving trademark infringement have recently generated controversy in American courts. Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX, a Metaverse marketplace that provided illegal photos of athletic shoes as NFTs.
Mason Rothschild, an artist who created fashion NFTs of Birkin bags and sold his digital artwork in the Metaverse for a significant profit through OpenSea, an NFT marketplace, was sued by high-end fashion firm Hermès.
A presence on the Metaverse offers a singular opportunity for businesses to be seen in this quickly expanding digital community, even in its early, unreliable stages. It provides access to a wide range of business options.
Companies must ensure that one of their most precious assets, their brand, is safeguarded in the Metaverse if they want to generate value comparable to that found in the actual world.
New or expanded trademark registrations, as well as improved enforcement and monitoring tools, are some possible strategies. Additionally, the Metaverse has its own rules that sometimes apply to existence there.
Certain providers’ terms of service may restrict responsibility or assign jurisdiction to nations with less intellectual property protection, making asserting claims considerably more challenging.
Defending the Consumer
Customers are governed by the same stringent consumer protection laws in the virtual world as they were in the past when it came to contracts for the sale of goods and services via the Internet.
The consumer has a full right to information about the goods when entering such contracts (for instance, when purchasing from an online retailer), as well as a right of withdrawal or rescission within 14 days, which he or she can exercise without providing a justification.
When offering digital information and services like Coinobots, the business owner may limit the right of withdrawal, but only with the customer’s knowledge and permission. Since January 2022, consumers who enter into contracts for digital services are also subject to additional warranty requirements.
In the EU, it is required that the law of the consumer’s country of residence be applied, and consumers may bring legal actions against providers in the metaverse in their home country’s courts.
It is yet unclear how effective legal action will be against illegal providers, particularly if they are based outside of the EU.
But again, a comparison to conventional online trade may be made here: Although there was initially a lot of skepticism about whether the products purchased from an online store would actually be delivered in the quality promised, it is now impossible to imagine online retailing as a viable alternative to stationary retailing without it, especially in times of pandemic-related traffic restrictions.