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See you in the Metaverse

The metaverse is here. Where to now?

The growth potential of the metaverse is enormous. But what do businesses need to watch out for in the new digital frontier?

It’s being called the next version of the internet. Management teams of some companies are already using it for meetings and teambuilding. Businesses are strategising to determine how they can use it to generate value and expand their market reach.

But many businesses have questions regarding how it will be managed, what rules will apply and what to do when issues arise. There are already clear answers to some of these questions, but businesses will need to stay up-to-date as regulators inevitably turn their attention to the new frontier of digital business.

Paradoxically, actively staying away from the metaverse may prove to be equally difficult as dealing with its challenges, as without a presence, businesses will struggle to establish their claims against infringing behaviour or fall behind in terms of their reputation and visibility.

-Jakub Pietrasik, Counsel, Warsaw

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a new digital interaction framework based on web technology (“Web 3.0”), incorporating manifold technical possibilities to create a new, virtual world with seemingly endless business opportunities.

The metaverse is a decentralised ecosystem, which utilises digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, crypto-assets and data-driven semantic tools. There is much discussion around “the metaverse”, where companies seek to benefit from the present momentum but also risk paying the price of unclear legal frameworks.

Our new content series on the multi-layered legal implications of businesses entering the metaverse offers relevant insights on key questions – from protecting your trademarks in the cyberspace to new aspects of digital healthcare.

Intellectual property

There is no single metaverse. It is a series of virtual environments connected through interoperability. What a large number of them have in common is that they are managed decentrally via a blockchain.

Are your trademarks “meta” enough? Protecting trademarks in the metaverse

Georg Kresbach, Jakub Pietrasik, and Peter Ihasz


There is an increasing number of alleged infringements in the metaverse involving existing trademarks and brands in an attempt to cash-in on their global reputation or use them as a base for creative artwork. Are your trademarks secure?

Entering into the uncharted world of the metaverse can have its benefits and challenges for any brand. In such open and decentralised environments, owners of trademarks will have to carefully consider creating their own digital presence through new or expanded trademark registrations, more effective mechanics for enforcement and policing infringing behaviour and remaining mindful of licensing arrangements governing their new digital brand.

-Georg Kresbach, Partner and Head of IP & TMT, Vienna

Artificial intelligence and the future of IP rights

Flavius Florea

The effective regulation of IP rights for AI systems and the creations of AI systems is critically important beyond just the need for legal clarity, because it can directly affect the motivation of market participants to innovate. Due to the novelty of non-humans creating new artistic works, a rethink is necessary of how we approach this topic altogether.

Crypto assets and blockchain

Interaction in the metaverse is done through digital assets and digital identities. Digital assets are tokens, and they can be exchanged through decentralised finance. These elements together make up “web3”.

Financial crime in the metaverse is real – how can we fight back?

Angelika Zotter

Like the real world, the virtual one is not immune to criminal activity. Due to their increasing popularity, value and use cases, crypto-assets have become the target of criminal efforts.

Users and companies need to familiarise themselves with typical criminal activities in the metaverse, such as phishing and fraud scams, code exploits, wash trading, money laundering and terrorist financing to protect themselves and others.

-Angelika Zotter, Associate, Vienna

The metaverse: ownership of virtual properties and objects in the “new reality”

Markus Aigner

With the increasing popularity and acceptance of the metaverse, as well as the sale of crypto properties and items, we are confronted with the question of the type of ownership associated with them and to what extent the owner is entitled to property rights. Are there protective rights against interventions in virtual crypto-property?

WT Crypto Academy

with Niklas Schmidt

The WT Crypto Academy provides practical instruction on the technological and economic aspects of crypto assets and blockchains. The lecturer is a well-known expert in the field and has a wealth of hands-on experience. The WT Crypto Academy has recently been approved as an official “Certified Digital Asset Advisor” (CDAA) course. 

7th – 18th November 2022, 14:00 – 16:00 CET
Host: Niklas Schmidt

Tax

The world’s digital giants which will lead in the metaverse are also soon going to face a new international tax regime, upending the old era.

Digitalisation – the trigger for a new era in international tax?

How the Two-Pillar Solution will change where companies pay their taxes

Karin Spindler-Simader

The OECD and the G20 are promoting a fundamental rewrite of the rules governing the taxation of the world’s digital giants.

Healthcare

Heathcare is also already underdoing fundamental change through digitalisation and remote technologies, and it may even extend into the metaverse.

Telemedicine – the future of healthcare in Central and Eastern Europe

Kamila Seberova, Joanna Wajdzik and Luciana Tache

Telemedicine has been growing in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for years, but the pandemic was a catalyst for more rapid progress in tech and healthcare practices, with limited regulatory reforms.

Telemedicine is the future of healthcare, and it can further expand using the virtual space of the metaverse. We see significant progress from digital companies and start-ups in developing new tech as an enabler of telemedicine, as well as a willingness of patients to use its services. But to maximise its real potential, we need greater digitalisation in healthcare and the adoption of appropriate regulation that does not create obstacles to further development.

Kamila Seberova, Counsel, Prague

European Health Data Space: the future of health data access and sharing in the EU

Ira Peric Ostojic and Sara Pavlovic

The European Health Data Space proposal provides for better availability of health data and represents an important step in building a “European Health Union”.

Webinars

The future of digital business

The digital economy is expanding exponentially in all aspects of industry and daily life. As a result, data has become the new oil – the fuel and the currency of this expansion. New technologies are also on the rise, shaping the investment environment for start-ups and established market players.