Oscar Mago November 14 2022 Intellectual property, NFTs and the metaverse: FAQs OMC Abogados & Consultores | Intellectual Property - International Oscar Mago Intellectual Property How can metaverse-related inventions be protected by intellectual property?How can creations within the metaverse (ie, virtual assets) be protected by intellectual property?What IP-related advice should brands hoping to explore the metaverse bear in mind?What IP considerations do purchasers of NFTs need to be aware of?What advice should purchasers of NFTs bear in mind?This article provides a snapshot of the key IP-related questions brands should be aware of with regard to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.How can metaverse-related inventions be protected by intellectual property?Metaverse-related inventions can be protected by patents. For example, if software-based inventions comply with the usual requirements for patent registration (ie, novelty, inventive step and industrial application), patents may be an option. Hardware devices that make it easier for users to access the metaverse or that give users a better experience can also be protected with patents.In general, inventions directed to any new and useful process, a machine, a composition of matter or any new and useful improvement thereof that brings a technical solution to a technical problem can be patented.How can creations within the metaverse (ie, virtual assets) be protected by intellectual property?Creations within the metaverse can be protected by trademarks, industrial designs or copyright. For example, if a user creates original content, that may be protected by copyright. If a user offers services or products, they should consider registering their trademarks for the metaverse too.What IP-related advice should brands hoping to explore the metaverse bear in mind?Brands should look for an appropriate strategy to protect their assets in the metaverse and negotiate an IP licence with the platform provider. It is necessary for brands to protect their assets with trademarks and industrial designs and check their contracts before they launch in the metaverse – this will help to prevent infringement of their rights.What IP considerations do purchasers of NFTs need to be aware of?Purchases of NFTs should be aware that buying an NFT is often not as easy as buying a physical asset. Also, NFT purchasers should pay attention to IP rights – in particular, copyright. The sale of an NFT does not imply per se the transfer of IP rights over the work.What advice should purchasers of NFTs bear in mind?Purchasers of NFTs should check who owns the underlying asset because NFTs do not automatically give rise to any IP rights in the underlying asset. Intellectual property must be assigned with express written terms that establish whether the purchaser is either purchasing or licensing the use of the intellectual property.Purchasers of NFTs should also carry out research on cryptocurrencies and blockchain because almost all transactions involving the purchase and sale of NFTs use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.Purchasers should also pay attention to copyright regulations – where a third party's work is converted into an NFT without authorisation, this would violate copyright law.For further information on this topic please contact Oscar Mago at OMC Abogados & Consultores by telephone (+51 502 6467 or +51 635 0641) or email ([email protected]). The OMC Abogados & Consultores website can be accessed at omcabogados.com.pe.