It’s inevitable. We’re in the process of moving from a 2D Internet -- one like magazine pages, with maybe some video, audio, and animation -- to an immersive 3D Internet. You may have heard of the Second Life®
virtual world, a service of Linden Lab
in San Francisco. It’s the most prominent virtual world in use, but there are others. All of these virtual world Internet applications let users control on-screen characters, called “avatars,” that walk in and around what seem to be buildings, stroll by the lakeshore, fly through the air, and ride virtual vehicles. The technology powering these virtual worlds has a lot in common with multiuser online games, such as World of Warcraft®
, and City of Heroes/City of Villains®
. Regardless, it is just a matter of time before business 3D Internet “sites” or applications are just as common as 2D websites.
With the adoption of the 3D Internet comes new legal issues. For instance, trademark infringement is common in the Second Life® world. Companies will need help in drafting and negotiating new forms of contracts. Lawsuits will follow.
Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP is a Silicon Valley law firm, whose intellectual property and commercial litigation and technology transactions expertise can assist companies creating virtual worlds or multiuser online games and businesses establishing presences on the 3D Internet to defend their legal rights, minimize their liabilities, and understand their legal obligations. For more information on the firm, click here for Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP’s general website
, Partner, Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP
3010-2011 Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Science & Technology Law
“Legal Writer” in the Second Life®
Past President of the SL Bar AssociationThis website is designed for general information only. The website does not comprise legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.