Mastercard, the American payments giant with 2.8 billion cards in service, aims to enter the metaverse. As Michael Kondoudis, a specialist lawyer, reports on his Twitter account, the company filed 15 Trademark Applications Related to the Metaversecryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Dated April 7, 2022, the repositories include mention of the “metaverse” several times. The documents mention in particular “a virtual credit card, a virtual debit card, a virtual prepaid card and virtual payment card transactions in the metaverse”.
Concretely, Mastercard wants to allow Internet users to pay for purchases in the metaverse with digital payment cards. To manage these transactions, the American firm implies the creation of “software for e-commerce” dedicated to digital universes.
The company also wants organize finance-related events and cryptocurrencies within these digital worlds accessible in virtual or augmented reality. In addition, the group plans to create online communities.
Deposits also mention non-fungible tokens (NFTs) several times. Mastercard describes, for example, blockchain-certified downloadable music files, NFT online stores or communities devoted to digital assets.
This is not the first time Mastercard has demonstrated its interest in the cryptocurrency and NFT sector. Earlier this year, the company announced the extension of its advisory service to cryptocurrencies as well as non-fungible tokens. A few months earlier, Mastercard tied a partnership with Bakt to expand its crypto-asset services to its network of partners.
Trademark registrations concerning the metaverse are multiplying
Unsurprisingly, the filings show that Mastercard wants use distinctive elements of its brand, like its name and logo, in the metaverse. This initiative essentially aims to protect the Mastercard brand against the ideas of the competition.
Questioned by our colleagues from ExpertClick, Michael Kondoudis assures us that these deposits show that Mastercard openly aims to make a place for yourself in the metaverse and expects “to be a major player in this virtual economy” :
“Mastercard is a leading financial brand, and the value attached to the brand is significant. These repositories are the next logical step to protect the Mastercard brand as it enters the metaverse. Clearly, Mastercard sees the potential of the metaverse and is preparing its trademarks and brand for the virtual economy that will dominate it”.
The specialist lawyer expects that deposits of this ilk multiply in the next 12 months, as companies realize the need to protect their brands in the metaverse. In February 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office received 257 filing requests relating to the metaverse, compared to 13 in February 2021.
Mirroring Mastercard, American Express has already filed several trademark applications to prepare for its entry into the metaverse. The second largest payment processor in the world aims in particular to provide banking services andopen ATMs in the digital worlds of tomorrow.