VR and AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)

The received wisdom is that the law is always playing catch-up with the latest technology. As the rate of technological advance increases, the law is ever further behind. However, unlike spheres such as crypto and blockchain, where the applicable legal regime is uncertain and contingent on the applicable legal jurisdiction, the legal building blocks for VR, AR, ML and AI are all in place.

With VR and AR, we are largely looking at the field of intellectual property rights. In most cases, there is a spectrum of overlapping copyrights in the component elements, notably graphics, sounds, still and moving images, text, voiceovers and soundtracks. Trademarks, design rights, image rights and database rights are also involved. In a single asset, there may be hundreds of complementary and sometimes overlapping and even conflicting IPR.

It is key to document the different rights, make sure that relevant transfers and licences are drawn up and executed and put in place mechanisms and documentation to ensure that royalties flow to the right people in timely fashion.  Appropriate contracts will need to be put into place and, amongst other provisions, there will need to be warranties and indemnities from the creators of the various assets to the licensees or transferees to cover the possibility of third party infringement claims.

For further information, please contact Simon Halberstam at Simon.Halberstam@smab.co.uk