Brands, corporations, and celebrities are spending billions on real estate in the metaverse, an interactive digital space of virtual worlds, to expand their global presence. Over the past year, more than $2 billion has been invested as more brands and industries recognize the potential of operating simultaneously in a hybrid of virtual and physical worlds.
Dozens of virtual worlds comprise the metaverse, such as Decentraland, now home to Sotheby’s, Samsung Corporation, and United Parcel Service. Fashion designer Philipp Plein recently purchased a large plot with plans to eventually construct a retail store and gallery. Plein has positioned his company at the forefront of virtual business, selling online in 24 different cryptocurrencies for more than a year. In 2022, the designer coupled online cryptocurrency sales with a physical storefront in London selling clothing and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in exchange for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Multinational high-profile brands such as Adidas, Ubisoft, Warner Music, and Gucci are building in the Sandbox universe to promote and sell their products. Gucci doubled down, also building in Roblox.
Since launching, Gucci Town has had over 36 million visitors who can purchase designer clothing for their avatars. More than 25 million have visited Nike Land, where they can exchange points earned from playing games for custom avatar shoes and T-shirts. Artists, too, are also flocking to the metaverse and establishing their own galleries as a new avenue to exhibit and promote their work, which is sold in cryptocurrencies.
As financial institutions, government and non-government agencies, real estate, and more begin operating in the metaverse, there will be significant implications in the legal sphere as well. It is imperative that law firms press ahead of the curve and establish themselves in the metaverse early to keep atop of current trends and inevitable legal concerns that arise from operating in a digital virtual world.
Why Law Firms Should Invest in the Metaverse
In such a deeply immersive environment, notable increases in metaverse-related cases are expected, particularly in the areas of intellectual property rights, consumer protection, financial regulation, and governance.
Intellectual property rights
As brands increasingly populate the metaverse, guidance on intellectual property rights will undoubtedly become a central concern. Such needed guidance might pertain to whether metaverse activities are covered under existing trademarks and third-party infringement protections, or whether entirely new metaverse-specific rights will be necessary. Brands and industries will look to the legal community for advisement in this burgeoning new business environment.
Consumer protection / financial regulation
Use of cryptocurrencies dominate in the metaverse, increasing the demand for consumer protection and financial regulation as digital currencies become more mainstream. Consumers need a clear understanding of what they are investing in, as well as distinguishing between organic and promotional content.
Protections are especially crucial with respect to the increased growth of decentralized autonomous organizations operating through token-based governance, an area highly scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission.
The decentralized nature of the metaverse raises valid concerns regarding governance, laws, and regulations in a world with currently no central authority. Metaverse developers will seek legal counsel to address these concerns and law firms need to be knowledgeable of the central issues of operating in the metaverse to provide apt services.
Law firms will play a pivotal role in shaping the metaverse and how governance and business are conducted now and in the future. Establishing footholds early in the metaverse provides firms with valuable knowledge and the opportunity to offer more services to those operating in digital virtual platforms.
Premier Legal Marketing Understands the Importance of Law Firms Establishing in the Metaverse
The metaverse landscape is populating quickly and law firms will increasingly be called upon for guidance as questions of governance, protection, and finance become central concerns. At Premier Legal Marketing, we can help your firm establish a presence in this virtual community, connecting you to potential clients throughout the globe. Call us today at 856-320-2016 or complete our online form to see what our team can do for you. Our service-oriented team proudly fulfills the needs of law firms nationwide.