Law and Practice 2024

1. Metaverse

1.1 Laws and Regulation

As is the case with the laws of most other countries, there are no specific Indian laws designed
to deal with the metaverse. In fact, the metaverse
finds no mention and has not been defined
under any Indian statute. The following regulations stand out as some of the most important
from an Indian perspective.

Intellectual Property

  • Trade marks – Trade marks may be used to protect branding and logos of brand owners from unauthorised use over the metaverse. While no cases of note have been reported in India, this is a topic that is currently getting a lot of attention. Brand-owners may consider it advisable to ensure that their interests in the virtual world are protected by way of their trade mark registrations.
  • Copyright and personality rights – Indian copyright law potentially has the capacity to be
    enforced for infringements in the metaverse, as well as to protect programmes.

In an interesting case before the Honourable High Court of Delhi in 2023 (Digital Collectibles
Pte Ltd. and Ors. v Galactus Funware Technology), the issue of the use of personality/image
rights of sports players on NFTs without authorisation was dealt with in an attempt to obtain an
injunction on the grounds of passing off, unfair competition, breach of personality rights, unjust
enrichment and tortious interference with economic interests. In this instance, the prayer for
an injunction was refused, citing it as unjust, and against the balance of convenience in the circumstances of the case.