The metaverse, NFTs and IP issues in China


Loke-Khoon Tan, Bertha Ho, James Lau, Harrods Wong and Jennifer Lau

The metaverse, NFTs and IP issues in China


As questions emerge over how to protect IP in the metaverse, Baker McKenzie lawyers examine how China is dealing with this evolving landscape

Over the past few years, the terms ‘metaverse’ and ‘NFT’ have become global buzzwords. Simply put, the metaverse describes a virtual environment where people can play, create, interact, and buy things. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a single digital ‘place’, but an ecosystem comprising several metaverses. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital records that are used to track ownership and rights over digital or physical assets, and they are by definition unique and rare (in contrast with cryptocurrencies).

In China, a number of local and international brands have already taken the leap into the metaverse and started to establish a presence on various metaverse platforms. Some local governments are also keen to embrace the new metaverse and NFT technology, and have included them as one of the focal points in their government work reports.

This article will discuss some of the pertinent intellectual property (IP) issues that brands should watch out for when venturing into this new space.

Metaverse, NFTs, Intellectual Property, Trademarks, China, Rights Infringement, Case study