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Metaverse, NFTs and their legal issues guide from DLA Piper

The metaverse and NFTs pose new legal issues, and professionals in the Intellectual Property & Technology department of law firm DLA Piper have analyzed the most relevant ones in this guide.

According to several analysis and reports, the metaverse’s global revenue could reach
USD800 billion in 2024, up from about USD500 billion in 2020.  The main market will be for online games and gaming hardware manufacturers, which could exceed USD400 billion in 2024. But all markets will be affected.

We’re in a period of history similar to when the internet emerged.  Initially it was viewed with enormous distrust.  Then we had the dot-com bubble.  And now it’s evolving into the next big thing – the metaverse.

We spend a significant amount of our time browsing the internet or social media on our mobile devices.  And it’s likely that in a couple of years we’ll be using AR systems to socialize, shop and work in the metaverse.

Businesses are realizing they can’t ignore the phenomenon of NFTs and the metaverse.  But they have to be aware of the critical legal issues that can arise with entry into this market.  In recent years we’ve been fortunate to work on numerous projects involving NFTs and the metaverse.  To support companies in this new market, we’ve tried to communicate our experience, addressing some of the most relevant legal issues including:

  • exploiting and defending the rights of trademarks, patents and copyrights in the metaverse and their licensing, which hides the risk of a loss of control over them if the virtual and global context in which the rights are exploited is not taken into account;
  • protecting and enhancing data in a virtual world that by definition is intrusive, especially if there are gaming features, and can be a breeding ground for cyber criminals;
  • marketing of real and virtual goods with m-commerce, cryptocurrency payments and smart contracts; and
  • influencer marketing activities, which risk being opaque in such an immersive environment.

The DLA Piper guide on legal issues of the Metaverse and NFTs is not intended to be exhaustive of all legal issues that may arise in connection with the metaverse, but it will provide insight into how to handle the most common contexts and provide some food for thought.

The guide is available ini English HERE and in Italian HERE

We hope you will enjoy it!

On the same topic, you can read several articles on this blog HERE

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Giulio Coraggio

I am the location head of the Italian Intellectual Property & Technology department and the global co-head of the IoT and Gaming and Gambling groups at the world-leading law firm DLA Piper. IoT and artificial intelligence influencer and FinTech and blockchain expert, finding solutions to what's next for our client's success.

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