POLITICO Quotes Mauricio Uribe on Metaverse Trademark Case
Knobbe Martens partner Mauricio Uribe was quoted by POLITICO in the article “The handbag that could shape the metaverse.” The article discusses how the outcome of a trademark case involving a virtual handbag could shape the future of NFT art and metaverse commerce, using the Hermès International v. Rothschild case as an example. In the case, a digital artist, Mason Rothschild, was sued for trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin and cybersquatting, among other claims, by Hermès for releasing a line of virtual handbags that mimic bags made by Hermès.
Uribe described the case as a “test” to see “how well our existing laws apply” to the digital frontier. He said that if the defendant Rothschild won the case, it could open up room for “a new paradigm that merits slightly different treatment” under the law. Uribe adds that an argument could be made, when an artist moves from making digital art to selling it in the universe, that the underlying good is “no longer purely artistic expression,” but instead “has a function and is part of commerce.”