China has started rejecting various metaverse-related trademark applications as authorities are keen to prevent abuse of the registration process. According to fiber2fashion, the action reportedly implies a deliberate strategy to deal with the rush of such applications by many companies beginning last year while preventing trademark squatting and misunderstanding among consumers.
Multiple trademark applications containing the word yuan yuzhou—translated as metaverse in Mandarin—have been denied registration by the National Intellectual Property Administration, according to information from business and trademark registration tracking firm Tianyancha.
Some of those refused registration were applications from video gaming giant NetEase, streaming video provider iQiyi and social commerce platform operator Xiaohongshu, according to a report in a top Chinese newspaper.
Applications filed by the likes of Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and ByteDance were still pending review by the regulator, according to information from Chinese business registration tracking platform Qichacha.
The procedure for a second review of an application that was denied might take six to eight months to complete, the report said. Some 153 denied applications are now awaiting second review, according to Tianyancha.
About 1,510 mainland Chinese companies, mostly in the technology sector, have recently applied to register trademarks related to the metaverse—the concept of a shared virtual environment that users access via the internet.
Alibaba had filed 31 applications since September through its Singapore subsidiary for various metaverse trademarks related to its corporate name and business units such as AliCloud, Taobao and DingTalk.