TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS
As part of our Spotlight series, Dion Bregman (who wears many hats at Morgan Lewis, such as deputy leader of the firm’s intellectual property practice, leader of the firm’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) team, managing partner of the firm's Silicon Valley office, and co-leader of the firm’s technology industry team) shares some of his meta thoughts. As a follow up to Dion’s recent participation in a panel discussion, An Introduction to the Metaverse, Dion provides insight into some important developments, issues, and opportunities, as we all continue to focus on Keeping Up with the Metaverse. 
In October 2021, it was announced that Facebook would formally change its name to Meta as part of an ambitious new initiative called the “metaverse”—a convergence of physical, augmented, and virtual reality in a shared online space. Shortly after this announcement, we wrote a blog post, A Brief Overview of the Metaverse and the Legal Challenges It Will Present. Since then, metaverse trends have experienced phenomenal growth, with the emergence of new immersive virtual reality and collaborative spaces for human interactions, transactions, and data exchanges on decentralized networks.
In 2021, the Australian Federal Court ruled in a landmark case that a device characterized as an artificial intelligence (AI) machine could for the first time be listed as an inventor on a patent application for the purposes of the Australian Patents Act 1990 (the Act).
Following the success of the previous blog post “A Brief Overview of the Metaverse and the Legal Challenges It Will Present,” we are introducing a new feature for the Tech & Sourcing blog: “Future Watch.” Our Future Watch posts will focus on the most topical areas of the technology industry and will explore the associated legal challenges and potential future developments.
Please join us for a discussion with Anastasia Dergacheva and Ksenia Andreeva on what companies should consider when managing IT development teams at an international level. The discussion will focus on the practical aspects of organization and planning of work, including due recordkeeping and intellectual property rights transfers.
When two parties engage in a merger or acquisition, there are several processes that must take place before the transaction can be completed, including due diligence of the seller’s assets—and particularly the seller’s relevant and material intellectual property (IP).
When two parties come together to discuss a new idea or potential collaboration, the parties are usually operating under the protection of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). If the parties decide to work together, they will most likely enter into a services agreement outlining their respective rights and obligations, including intellectual property (IP) ownership and commercialization rights. Occasionally, parties operating solely under an NDA may start collaborating in a way that’s not fully covered by the NDA prior to entering into a services agreement because they’re just not at that stage of the relationship yet. Regardless of whether the parties are ready to enter into such an agreement, if there is any potential for IP to be created in connection with such a collaboration (even if it’s fairly informal), the agreement between the parties needs to address the rights of each party with respect to any such IP.
Limitation of liability provisions are standard in almost every contract and are essential in helping the contract parties limit their risk. These provisions typically contain a broad disclaimer of consequential damages and a cap on direct damages; however, it is common practice to exclude certain types of damages from such disclaimers and/or caps.
Rights holders are almost always looking for ways to monetize the intellectual property (IP) that they own or license. For owners of rights in popular logos; characters from TV shows, movies, or video games; or similar IP, one way to generate a revenue stream is to enter into merchandise license agreements.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity over the past year. Use cases for NFTs have been growing as more industries are realizing the benefits they present. A report by blockchain specialist Chainalysis found that almost $41 billion was spent on NFTs in 2021—a number that is likely to continue growing.