Today, Rouse with their strategic partner Lusheng Law Firm have announced the official launch of their new service designed to support multinationals expanding in the digital arena.
Together, Rouse and Lusheng will offer support for businesses’ commercial, marketing and brand activities in the digital world, including the metaverse.
Businesses, especially multinationals, are increasingly creating new digital experiences for their audiences, from retail brands producing and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to restaurant franchises opening virtual metaverse locations. They are also seeking to protect their digital creations and brand reputation. In 2021, the global overall market value of NFTs reached 25 billion US dollars , and the European Union Intellectual Property Office reported nearly 1,200 applications for marks covering virtual goods and services filed in the last nine months alone.
However, the intellectual property (IP) challenges surrounding digital activity are complex.
The new service will meet businesses’ growing needs for guidance on the risks of their digital activities and how they can protect their IP in virtual worlds, as brand activity in this space – and consumer appetite for virtual assets and experiences – continues to increase.
The service will offer end-to-end digital IP support to multinationals, including everything from building digital strategies and aligning IP with commercial strategies, through to infringement detection, enforcement and dispute resolution. It will provide advice on issues such as regulations for NFTs and the implications of personality rights for digital avatars, as well as broader digital issues like personal data protection and cross border data transfers.
The service is initially being launched in China by Lusheng Law Firm, a strategic partner of Rouse. Western multinationals have increasingly been looking to expand their digital activities in China and many need support to navigate the strict regulatory environment there, following cryptocurrencies being banned and the enactment of the Personal Information Protection Law last year.
Jeremy Newman, CCO of Rouse, said:
"This launch further enhances the value chain of IP services we are building. We are bringing together legal, IP and regulatory skills, combined with a deep knowledge of the markets we operate in, to ensure that our clients obtain maximum value from their IP.
“The fast-evolving digital world is bringing new challenges for brands and we’re delighted to be working alongside our strategic partner Lusheng to launch this service and support businesses expanding in this area.
“There are many legal questions for brands to consider when embarking on new digital experiences, ranging from whether or not to file a trademark through to how they can best navigate compliance and enforce their rights in different regulatory environments.
“We want to empower multinationals with the knowledge to make smart business and marketing decisions. This new service will add to our existing offerings for clients’ working in the digital, marketing and advertising fields, giving them the counsel and legal support they need to take bold new steps.”
Ling Jin, Head of Digital at Lusheng, will work closely with Rouse’s experts around the world to help them provide the service in other markets. She said:
“With new technology trends emerging, brands are eager to keep expanding their activities in the digital world, offering unique experiences to their consumers and leveraging different revenue streams. As they do, it is critical for intellectual property to be included in their decision-making.
“IP regulation is still catching up with the latest digital developments. This means there are key variations between markets and grey areas that businesses can face when trying to launch new services or campaigns and enforce their brand rights.
“The new service will help multinationals navigate this challenging and evolving landscape, so they can reap the rewards without exposing their brand or creations.”
On 6 July, Rouse together with strategic partner, Lusheng will be hosting a webinar with Lexology: "NFTs in China: Managing Risks in Marketing Campaigns and IP Licensing".
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are a growing phenomenon globally. This is no different in China, where NFTs are known as ‘digital collectables’. Brands are increasingly using digital collectables to support their marketing and promotional activity. Whilst this contributes to brand growth, getting it wrong can have a significant negative impact. As this is a new and emerging area, speakers Jin Ling, Sunny Su and Holly White will discuss how legal and intellectual property in-house counsels are grappling with guiding their business through these challenges. They will focus on:
To register for this free webinar, please click here.