More and more, the body of laws that govern our “first lives” are traveling into the world of Second Life, an online virtual world that allows people to own land, buy and sell products for Linden Dollars, and now, register trademarks based on graphics created by a user in Second Life. Click here to read the full article.
This should probably come as no surprise, given the strong and growing commercial activity within Second Life. According to their site, in-world users of Second Life are exchange about USD$35 million each month for virtual goods and services. First life laws on trademarks were created in part to encourage commerce by helping consumers know the actual source for the goods they were buying. It seems to me that the next step will be first life businesses like Nike and Rolex seeking a way to enforce their trademark rights in a first life court against Second Life infringers.