Tom Polcyn Talks To Thomson Reuters’ ‘Technologist’ About The Metaverse (Video) – Trademark

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Thompson Coburn IP Chair Tom Polcyn talked all
things Metaverse in a recent video interview with Joseph Raczynski, a
Technologist/Futurist for the Thompson Reuters news organization.
Their discussion took place during a July 26
episode of Joseph’s “Tech Snippets Today”

Tom was invited on the program following Thompson Coburn’s
announcement that it was among the first major U.S. law firms to
apply for trademark protection for the Firm’s brand in the
Metaverse. Tom talked to Joe about the thinking behind the
Firm’s decision to seek trademark protection in the


“We have a nice mechanism in place under the law in our
brick and mortar world for dealing with infringing trademarks and
avoiding consumer confusion,” said Tom. “But what happens
when someone misuses a brand owner’s mark in the Metaverse or
some other virtual realm? We don’t think there’s an
emergency to run out and do something different. That being said,
this is an evolving space with an uncertain future. So, for a
number of clients we have filed trademark applications that put a
metaverse twist on their real world goods and services.”

“In fact, we too have filed a trademark application to
register the Thompson Coburn brand in connection with legal
services provided in the Metaverse, even though we’ve had our
name registered for traditional legal services for many years. Will
that eventual registration provide us with additional rights we
didn’t already have? That remains to be seen, but filing
trademark applications is a relatively inexpensive exercise and we
really saw no downside to pursuing it as this new marketplace
continues to emerge.”

While acknowledging that legal practitioners and corporations
are just starting to think about the legal implications of doing
business in the Metaverse, Tom said the dawn of the Internet some
30 years ago provides possible guidance for how real-world laws can
apply to virtual-world interactions. 

“Ninety-nine percent of the laws and rules we have to take
care of things in the brick and mortar world have worked out just
fine in the Internet age,” Tom said. “There are some
twists that initially weren’t predictable, and there were
things that the courts and the legislature had to address. I think
the same thing will happen with the Metaverse.”

Tom also shared thoughts on the possibility of Thompson Coburn
opening an office in a virtual world. “We don’t have any
imminent plans to open an office in the Metaverse,” he said.
“But that day could come. It really depends on where our
clients take us and where they want to see us and interact with

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