The Metaverse: A Legal Primer For The Retirement Home Industry | Not Fox Schiff

The metaverse is widely seen as the next frontier of digital commerce, with companies across the industry spending millions of dollars to establish themselves as market leaders. While it offers obvious opportunities for businesses, Metaverse also presents unique legal challenges. This alert highlights some important legal issues that all businesses need to consider before stepping in.

What is the Metaverse?

At its core, the Metaverse is the next generation of the Internet. Built largely on decentralized blockchain technology rather than centralized servers, it incorporates immersive three-dimensional experiences with dynamic digital markets, continuous and traceable digital assets, and a robust on part of society. As consumers flock to Metaverse platforms and tech companies are creating next-generation consumer electronics that will make Metaverse more accessible, the ways in which Metaverse can help the home retirement industry are already beginning to unfold. education.

The Business Case for the Housing Sector for the Elderly

The metaverse offers unique opportunities for the senior livelihood industry. Consider the virtual tour used in marketing efforts and think of it again as an opportunity for establishments to offer potential residents a chance to interact with the establishment’s facilities and staff. At the basic level, the ability to sell the metaverse as a piece of equipment has its own value. On a larger scale, this could lead to the development of a hybrid offering of home care and senior living, with the metaverse providing this community status.

While the business opportunities are clear, the metaverse further offers the possibility of improving resident care. For example, Metaverse gives distant family members the ability to connect with residents in a more engaging setting than a phone call or video chat – an important alternative in light of social isolation issues. promoted by the pandemic.

Before starting a metaverse platform, companies should consider these six legal questions:

  1. Take custody of digital assets. Due to their digital nature, digital assets such as cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) are particularly vulnerable to loss and theft. Before acquiring cryptocurrencies or NFTs, businesses must set up a secure blockchain wallet and adopt appropriate access and security controls.
  2. Create a dedicated legal entity. Businesses may consider creating a new subsidiary or affiliate to hold digital assets, protect other parts of their business from metaverse liability, and deal with potential tax consequences.
  3. Choose the platform that suits you. There are many metaverse platforms, and they all have tradeoffs. Some, like Roblox, offer access to multiple consumers but often give businesses little control over the content of the program. Others, such as Decentraland and Sandbox, offer companies greater control but smaller audiences and higher barriers to entry. Businesses need to consider their target audience and long-term metaverse strategy before committing to a particular platform.
  4. Register your IP. Businesses should consider filing trademark applications that cover the core metaverse goods or services and ensuring all available blockchain domains, which can be used to facilitate metaverse payments and direct payments. users of the internal blockchain, such as websites and decentralized applications. Given the accelerated adoption of blockchain domains as well as the limited number of dispute resolution solutions available, we strongly encourage brands to consider securing intellectual property rights today.
  5. Protect and enforce your IP. The decentralized nature of the metaverse presents a significant challenge to businesses and intellectual property owners. Before engaging in any blockchain -based transactions, including the purchase or creation of NFTs, businesses must understand that the content stored in a blockchain is permanently available and cannot be deleted. Prohibitions on the use and resale of an NFT should be carefully considered and enforced before mining, because once the content is on the blockchain, there is little recourse.
  6. Reserve metaverse rights. Companies that license their intellectual property, especially those that do so on a geographical or territorial basis, should review existing license agreements to determine what rights, if any, the they are licensed for related use. Going forward, we urge trademark owners to expressly reserve your rights for Metaverse-related materials and exercise caution before allowing a third party to deploy your IP address to Metaverse for you.

Ready to enter?

The metaverse represents a huge opportunity for businesses to connect directly with consumers in an interactive way that was considered science fiction just a few years ago. But as with every new frontier, technology or otherwise, there are legal and regulatory barriers to consider and overcome. Some are familiar, while others are new. ArentFox Schiff’s attorneys provide an interdisciplinary perspective to help producers, distributors, retailers, and their retirement home industry partners offer practical strategies to maximize the value of the opportunities created by metaverse.

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