February 22, 2023

Conference in Dubai Tackles Protecting IP in Metaverse

Conference in Dubai Tackles Protecting IP in Metaverse Featured Image

12th Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference

The 12th Regional IP Crime Conference for the Middle East and North Africa, held in Dubai, discussed ways to police the metaverse, especially issues related to trademarks and intellectual property.

Jassim Al Antali, an official at the Abu Dhabi Police Academy who delivered a speech, said proper legal mechanisms are needed in light of the increasing use of the metaverse to resolve crimes that could happen there, according to The National newspaper.

According to Antali, the metaverse has a dark side and it needs regulation, legislation, and execution procedures, such as how to arrest a person in virtual reality, as we don’t know where the person is in the case of a dispute.

He asserted the importance of legal, security, and judicial mechanisms in the virtual world, in addition to law enforcement on the crimes.

Meanwhile, Ali bin Khatam, senior advocate general at Dubai Public Prosecution, pointed out that protecting intellectual property in the metaverse is a legally difficult issue as the metaverse raises questions about who will protect the trademarks in the virtual space.

Bin Khatam noted that it is easy to forge items in the metaverse by copying an existing trademark in real life to the metaverse, therefore there is an utmost need for a legal solution for such issues, adding the most difficult situation is when a metaverse user copies a trademark in a certain virtual reality, copied from another virtual reality.

He pointed to issues raised by prosecutors regarding the jurisdiction of a criminal or civil case that happened in the metaverse, saying: “We don’t know which jurisdiction to use if the crime was in UAE or another country. This causes legislation void.”

He emphasized the importance of collaboration among the policing bodies worldwide through an international policing body like Interpol, which could help somehow in deciding cases.

Earlier this month, Interpol Secretary-General Jurgen Stock said the global police body is discussing how to probe a crime occurring in the metaverse.

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