Metaverse patents are getting filed by big tech, who are yet again creating a moat around the Web3 space. Let’s get in first. If you have a big idea, file a patent, says Jaime Schwarz of Brand Therapy.
The Metaverse isn’t even here, yet we don’t own it. If the mile-high list of patents filed by top 10 enterprises offers any signs, it’s clear they intend on keeping it that way. So how did big businesses, without a metaverse to speak of, patent thousands of things that don’t exist yet?
Thanks to the power of patents, ideas are protected well before they are built. While that’s bad news if you have an idea that’s already been patented, it’s great news for what’s to come. This is an in-between time where we still don’t know what the Metaverse will become. But there is still a wide-open frontier for our imaginations to wander, and carve out space by creating patents ourselves.
Metaverse Patents – What’s Your Idea?
We’ve all had game-changing ideas. The question is, what do we do about them?
In 2018, I was hired to consult on a marketing campaign for luxury watches. The luxury watch industry is one of the most knocked-off intensive industries in the physical world. How could they protect themselves in an increasingly augmented world? In fact, how can any brand protect itself?
I thought back to the rise of the first virtual product in the early aughts – digital music. Pirate services such as Napster and LimeWire destroyed the music industry overnight, by stealing intellectual property.
2018 was the time of the first blockchain bubble, the ICO craze, and the first AR bubble, Pokémon Go. What about all the virtual products we were about to buy? Were we heading towards an infinitely larger Napster problem?
The Napster and Limewire problem was somewhat solved with the arrival of iTunes. They created Digital Rights Management (DRM) for songs, providing a secure product but also scarcity.
Likewise, we need a similar solution for the Metaverse.
Metaverse Patents: Big Tech vs Patent Attorneys
A great patent attorney is a fantastic partner in this ever-expanding territory. I recommend doing research and putting in the time to find the right Intellectual Property (IP) partner.
I credit working with my patent attorney as the most important step in my own metaverse journey. Together, we filed what I call “Authorized Mixed Reality” (AMR). It is a system and method for identifying virtual goods.
There are infinite ways into something as limitless as the metaverse. So for you and your unique background, connect the dots that haven’t been connected before. For me, my background in marketing led me to develop a comprehensive patent that aims to answer the question, “what could a brand mark or trademark do in an immersive, digital world to further its protective role?”
Try not to be confined by what makes sense for today’s capabilities. Look towards tomorrow’s potential, when the actual Metaverse is influencing our lives. Your patent attorney will help find your way forward, identifying potential overlaps, and arming you with the tools to stand out.
Public Vs Private
Finally, you have to decide if what you’re filing should remain private or public. Most companies will file publicly so that their pending patent intimidates potential competition. I chose to file privately because I knew I was several years out from seeing it realized. And, I was able to adapt my pending patent before it was approved and finalized.
Be aware that the patent office is underfunded and backlogged, as you can imagine. New technologies can really throw the office through a loop. For reference, my entire process took almost four years.
A Patent is a Seat at the Table
Now that my patent is finalized, I have a seat at the table. I’m finding early footholds to grow potential partnerships with those at the forefront of the Metaverse simply because I have something tangible to bring to it.
The metaverse is a quantum leap forward for the internet. It will take years to fully develop, just like Web1 and Web2 before it. So many new technologies are converging that everything is new again. A lot has to be built from scratch and there are no best practices yet.
The good news is that the first-mover advantage is still open to all, including you. So open your mind and jump into the near future. Imagine that successful version of you in it, and work backward from there. I’m willing to bet, that if it’s original enough, it will require a patent.
About the author
Jaime Schwarz of Brand Therapy is an award-winning creative director and brand therapist. After a dozen years of servicing Fortune 500 clients on Madison Avenue, he consults for clients of all sizes who truly care about their “why.” After co-founding four startups of his own and spending time hearing from the wisdom of tribal elders and futurists alike, he is using his Authorized Mixed Reality patent to ensure digital objects can speak for themselves.