We are beginning to see some welcome clarification of the official position on trade mark applications covering goods for the metaverse. The latest version of the International classification will include downloadable digital files authenticated by non-fungible tokens  in class 9.

The EU IPO has clarified that the content to which the digital tokens relate must also be specified. This is to ensure that the scope of the legal monopoly is not overly broad, and is clear to anyone searching the register of trade marks. So for example, "virtual goods" and "non fungible tokens" will not be accepted, but wording such as "downloadable virtual goods, namely, virtual handbags" should be fine.

Class 9 is an entirely logical choice for virtual goods, as it already included software and downloadable publications. I still think it would have been nice though, and cheaper for businesses to clear and register new trade marks for use, if virtual goods and tokens could have been classified with their real-life counterparts. Why not put virtual handbags into class 18 along with real ones? Class 9 is already huge, and it's about to get a whole lot bigger.

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