Metaverse Fashion Week kicked off for the first time on Thursday, with Dolce & Gabbana, Paco Rabanne, Elie Saab, Tommy Hilfiger, Etro, Dundas, Cavalli, Cider and The Fabricant, among many established brands and digitally genuine fashion settings that will showcase their collections virtually during the first event of its kind.
An immersive shopping experience, consumers can not only see virtual runway collections during the Metaverse Fashion Week on the Decentraland 3D virtual world platform, but will also have the opportunity to buy virtual clothes for their online avatars and also get the physical twin of that outfit for their wardrobe in the “Real World”.
Having said that, here are a few considerations for brands as their debut in the fashion metaverse experience:
- Trademark registration is a property right, and its scope is determined by the country in which it is registered. The sale of physical products through the metaverse to a customer in a territory where the mark does not have existing trademark protection or where due diligence has not been performed could reveal trademarks for violation proceedings. Well-known fashion brands that sell physical and virtual products through Decentraland this week could rely on their established reputation in the trademark infringement dispute. However, smaller, lesser-known fashion brands may struggle to do the same. Since the metaverse can be joined by anyone, it may be important for fashion brands to establish controls to stop the sale of physical and / or virtual items through the metaverse where the location from which the product is purchased is a new a territory in which the assessment of the risks associated with the use of the mark has not yet been carried out.
- Unresolved or registered trademarks cover categories of goods and services. While the sale of physical fashion items through the metaverse can be protected “Clothing; headgear; shoes” in class 25, if a fashion brand intends to sell virtual goods through the metaverse, the question arises as to whether the virtual version may be covered by class 25 or may fall into another class of goods. Fashion brands may want to consider extending their current trademarks to virtual products and services.
- Since it is not very clear whether the provision of virtual fashion items through the metaverse represents a diversification of the existing brand’s range, it is important to search and ensure that there are no legal issues with using the brand in relation to virtual goods. Since trademarks are territorial, it may be necessary for fashion brands to seek local advice on whether to search in each territory where virtual fashion items will be sold. If there are plans to sell physical fashion goods to new markets in the metaverse, a Class 25 search “Clothing; headgear; shoes”, for instance, may also be important (depending on the local council). On another note, you may need to file a new application to make sure you have registered trademark protection for the new product range.
- Finally, an agreement between two or more companies that agree to limit their use of the same or similar trademark in certain territories to coexist (this issue is at the heart of the current Valentino v. Maria Valentino case) may prevent relevant parties from selling to certain consumers in the metaverse. Uncertainty as to whether virtual goods will be classified in Class 9, Class 25 or another class may also affect agreements in which the parties have agreed to limit the use of the same or similar trademark to certain classes / goods / services.
Therefore, fashion brands should consider seeking local advice to determine if the intended use may constitute a breach of contract or not. Be the first to get all the latest news about the Metaverse, by checking our Legal News Publication Page. Feel free to reach out to us for any clarification on lexyom.com