Nike wants to bring sneakerheads to Metaverse

Look at your feet. You a lot (Extends the hand) Now that Nike is back for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2021, Nike reported that its revenue for the year grew 19% to $ 44.5 billion. But that’s here. What about Metaverse?

Why Nike is interested in Metaverse

For those who are still unfamiliar with the concept, the easiest – yet very incomplete – metaphor to imagine yourself existing in a real-life video game. Nike enters and delivers very cool meta-stuff.

This is not a joke. Very serious about Nike Metavers.

In 2018, the pre-Metaverse universe patent filings revealed that Nike is seriously stockpiling the tools that allow it to do business on Metaverse. These digital devices will include sneakers but also other forms of avatar and virtual branding. Of course, Nike wants to sell you digital products (and you will buy them because Nike knows how you want them) but the meta-plan revolves around the whole digital world.

Is this just Nike being Nike? Of course, but if we choose to define it as creating a net-new revenue stream, as has been the case throughout its history, that’s fine. Someone is going to own a Metaverse Swag and it could be Nike too.

Metaverse has rules that will be new to Nike

Nike must be prepared for the idea of ​​destruction by counterfeiting. In this temporary world, Nike has been the subject of much controversy over its intellectual property (IP). Yet, in Metaverse, duplication will transcend our current concepts that are legal. The price of Nike’s meta-wires will be heavily influenced by what the company will call pirates but others will call the artists.

In the real world, lumbering elephants are exposed by the aggression of speeding midgets. In short, Brooklyn Art Collective Mschf bought an original Warhol for $ 20,000 and made 999 correct forgeries. It then blends into the original and sells all 1,000 “real” warholes for মোট 250 each for a total of $ 250,000, of which $ 230,000 is profit.

Related: Becomes Digital Physical: Top NFT Gallery for Personal View in 2021

The same thing will happen in Metaverse. Some rare Nike drops (what we call new shoe releases or even a color – called “colorways” – new shoe releases) may be real, some may be real, and some may be intentional or unintentional.

Metaverse is new to the court

Samir Patel, a Miami attorney and an employee of the Miami-Dead Cryptocurrency Task Force, recently tweeted about how the courts are finally going to deal with these metavers disputes.

I talked to Patel about the reality of the new metaverse and how it was going to be a quick, drastic discovery when judges realized that the common law precedent would be more of an obstacle than a help in deciding a metavers case. As Patel says:

“Legal doctrines such as real property rights, breaches of wet contracts and copyright infringement of man-made work will govern relationships in metavars (MV).”

He continued: “So, when Nike wants to participate in MV, be it with virtual storefronts, gear for avatars or creating exclusively new products for MV, its lawyers have to make a connection between MV violations or claims. And a place of flesh. “

The fact that very few judges (and very few lawyers) have used or heard the term “mitspace” is a problem in itself. The term refers to our physical world as opposed to a virtual environment like cyberspace or metavers.

So, yes, the metavers claim must be foolish for the judges, at least primarily written in such a mundane way, using such traditional language, so that the judges are not lost.

Can Nike help create a metaverse legal framework?

Patel sees a real opportunity here. “Nike has the resources to educate judges through trial because they can pay their lawyers to sue, but other small petitioners will find it difficult to convince a judge that they own virtual property that exists in a virtual land registry that maintains a decentralized blockchain. , ”He said.

Patel explained to me that if he wanted to buy virtual land in Metaverse, the judge would probably view the transaction as a sale of goods and not a transfer of real estate. Since the statutory regulations do not contain or entertain the concept of virtual real estate, this virtual land cannot be recorded in the Virtual Land Registry because that registry is not regulated by the municipality or sovereign.

“So, if Nike sells a pair of virtual sneakers, but does not give the sneakers to the buyer, then it is a breach of contract to sell sneakers. But bargaining for a bargain will still be clear and will probably be recorded on Mitspace, “Patel explained.

What this would mean in practice would be a puzzle for judges, where there is no evidence of an agreement in the metaverse, such as a verbal agreement executed by two incarnations. So how can a judge rule in this dispute? It’s like a verbal agreement executed on Manspace. If an avatar could prove reliance on a verbal agreement in Metavars, as they might be able to do it in MetSpace, then there could be evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim.

Related: To work for everyone, Metavers must be decentralized

Metavers can be as demanding as MetSpace

And the demands are going to be huge. If there is a problem with modifying its creations on Mitspace without Nike’s permission, and the defendants in the Nike case boldly respond that the changes are not art, not IP theft, just imagine the metavars. Patel mentioned:

“IP laws will be tested in MV, if artificial intelligence is used to create landscapes or other virtual objects.”

He added: “This is because the work obtained by AI is not covered by US copyright law. So, if I install AI in MV and AI creates something nice, I have zero rights to the work obtained and someone else can copy the work and for himself. Copyright can be claimed. It will be extremely difficult to protect one’s copyright because the MV can be so huge and the infringer can be an AI-deployed entity.

This leaves us with only one effective way to change the way judges view and decide on the metaverse: changing our existing laws to accommodate virtual reality. Without this change, in the eyes of the judges, everything in MetSpace and virtual reality does not exist as a legal reality.

The actual legal reality, as Patel noted, is that “Nike would be wise to hire attorneys who are well versed, and I mean real property, experts in blockchain technology, in addition to uniform commercial codes.”

Metaverse provides a new virtual world of opportunities to create, sell, buy and sue, which is going to be interesting to look at through social, commercial and legal lenses. Just because Nike is getting ready to make, sell and sue in this new place means that you too should be ready for the reality of Metavers, coming soon to a computer or phone very close to you.

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Aaron Solomon Esquire Digital’s chief legal analyst and entrepreneurial educator at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania. Solomon was selected in the Fastcase 50 in recognition of the world’s top 50 legal inventors. His work has appeared in CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, VentureBeat, Yahoo !, and many other leading publications.