Is There A Second Life For Trademarks In Second Life®?


Recent years have seen the development of online communities through which massive numbers of users can interact with each other and with the environment itself in ways that increasingly approach real-world interactions. Within such worlds, one can wander around virtual streets or into virtual buildings, buy a virtual newspaper, get into a virtual fistfight with another user’s avatar, or simply change one’s virtual clothes.

The new possibilities presented to users by virtual worlds are pertinent to the interests of trademark holders in two main ways: (1) They create new venues through which marks may be used to promote products or services; and (2) They open up new spaces of commercial activity, raising the possibility of trademark infringement dilution and publicity rights violations within the virtual realm.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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