Do you want NFT fries with that? It looks like McDonald’s is making its way into the metaverse by registering for 10 trademarks in the virtual space.
Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer and founder of Gerben Intellectual Property, recently spotted that McDonald’s had filed ten trademark applications that suggest the fast-food giant is interested in setting up a “virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods,” as well as a “virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery.”
Among the many facets of the application, McDonald’s sought to extend its own intellectual property, like names of foods and visual branding, to cover “virtual food and beverage products”, including “downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio and video files, and non-fungible tokens [NFTs].”
The trademark filings also indicate that McDonald's could run various entertainment events such as music concerts in the metaverse.
Like many aspects of the metaverse – an all-connected virtual reality environment in which people can interact with other users and the artificial world around them – it’s unclear how any of this will actually work. At the risk of completely missing the point, what’s the use of a virtual Big Mac?
Nevertheless, it’s clear that McDonald’s doesn’t want to miss the metaverse bandwagon before it’s too late. Back in November 2021, McDonald's ran a competition to give away ten NFTs of the McRib to celebrate the iconic sandwich's 40th anniversary.
A number of other multinational companies, including Nike and Coca-Cola, have also expressed a desire to "enter the metaverse" in some form or another.
“When you see this critical mass of large companies making this many new trademark filings, it’s very clear this is coming,” Gerben told Forbes. “I think you’re going to see every brand that you can think of make these filings within the next 12 months,” Gerben added. “I don’t think anyone wants to be the next Blockbuster and just completely ignore a new technology that’s coming.”