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#Metaverse: a technological, legal and educational challenge
#Metaverse: a technological, legal and educational challenge

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  • Fundación PONS hosts the round table “Metaverse, an emerging world of opportunities”, organized by BeConfluence in collaboration with PONS IP
  • The metaverse holds many opportunities for companies and professionals, and Spain as a country has great potential
  • The metaverse will pose major privacy challenges

Madrid, June 23, 2022. The main economic sectors are joining the metaverse. This is reflected in the first report based on an analysis of internet search data, more than nine million, , with an algorithm developed by BeConfluence. The study, released last April, has been the protagonist of the round table Metaverse, an emerging world of opportunities,held at Fundación PONS in Madrid.

Organized by the communications and public affairs agency BeConfluence, , in collaboration with the intellectual property consulting firm PONS IP, the meeting was attended by a group of experts and professionals from different industries who analyzed the challenges and opportunities offered by the new virtual environments for the world of business and entertainment.

Among them, Francisco Asensi, Spain Audiovisual Hub senior advisor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, one of the leading experts in Spain; Daniel Sánchez, director of Gammera Nest and coordinator of PlayStations Talents; Óscar Casado, Legal director Data&Digital Business at Telefónica; Juan Marí Guillot, CEO of Virtual Real Management (VRM), a company that adapts the metaverse to the world of sports and entertainment; Carmen González, Head of Trademark and Brand Intelligence at Pons IP; Nuria Marcos, PONS IP General Manager; and Rosa Gómez-Acebo, General Manager of BeConfluence.

Rosa Gómez-Acebo was responsible for presenting the main conclusions of this report on the metaverse to the professionals and executives attending the event, based on an analysis of Internet data on more than 9.3 million IP searches from unique users, both in Spain and the United Kingdom. “Internet searches on the metaverse show a great interest in this new universe and its potential applications in the fields of work, business and entertainment. Queries have skyrocketed since 2020 and are already close to one million average monthly searches in Spain alone during the first months of 2022,” said Gómez-Acebo.

In this sense, this virtual world is attracting significant interest, but in Spain “the metaverse is still somewhat unknown and there is much confusion around it. It does not exist as we imagine it, but it will exist,” says Francisco Asensi. According to the expert, this virtual world is an evolutionary process that will be supported by different technologies.

Since Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg announced in October 2021 the construction of the metaverse, this word is everywhere, and the video game industry is one of the key pillars in this development. The director of Gammera Nest reviewed the crucial role of this industry in the economy, and has emphasized the role played by this industry right now. “Young people are already in the metaverse, for them it already exists. However, we have to couple technology to our life. It will be a matter of about ten years,” said Daniel Sánchez.

The metaverse report developed by BeConfluence also includes a section on searches made from business IP. Out of the total, small and medium-sized companies in our country represent 32.7% of searches, which shows an interest in learning about these virtual worlds. In this regard,Óscar Casado, Legal director Data&Digital Business at Telefónica, was consulted and talked about how companies are preparing for this imminent future in terms of privacy and data protection. “In decentralized scenarios such as those brought to us by the metaverse, a more uniform, consistent and standardized privacy and data protection framework will be necessary. This requires the commitment and collaboration of the entire privacy community, from private operators, the public sector, civil society, policy makers and supervisors,” he said.

Telefónica’s representative also pointed out that the proliferation of ad hoc regulatory proposals related to advanced technologies (web3, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, etc.) generate a regulatory puzzle where multiple, sometimes contradictory, regulations overlap and make compliance extremely difficult. “Therefore, regulation must be horizontal, technologically neutral, able to evolve along with technological developments and with a risk-based approach. This will make it possible to specifically prevent the proliferation of sector-specific laws where different obligations apply, as is the case with the GDPR and ePrivacy in the European Union,” he concluded.

For her part, Carmen González, Head of Trademark and Brand Intelligence at PONS IP, indicated that the metaverse poses numerous challenges, including those of a technological and legal nature, but also offers endless possibilities. “The positive side is that right now we have a regulation that can also be applied to these environments, so it seems advisable to expand the coverage of our trademarks to include both the protection of virtual assets and their sale, promotion and availability, as well as to continue defending our distinctive signs using the mechanisms for reporting and eliminating infringing content that these spaces already offer, just as social networks and other platforms have been doing for some time,” she said. González also pointed out that designs will play a significant role in these environments, enhancing the differentiation between various business initiatives, as their exclusivity will be important. “And, of course, data, software and technology will be relevant in these hybrid environments in which physical-digital interaction will have to be regulated,” she concluded.

As stated in the report, entertainment is another of the industries, along with IT and telecommunications, marketing and communication, and retail, which accounts for more than 50% of searches in Spain. Juan Marí Guillot, CEO of Virtual Real Management, shared his experience in metaverse development. “The main barrier is technological. Today, nothing beats real experience, but this is a world that needs to be built and where we need to be.” Marí also reviewed all the possibilities it provides in the world of leisure and sports from his experience in the agreements he has reached with LaLiga and Euroleague Basketball. “The metaverse already offers endless opportunities for sports companies and sponsors to generate a unique brand experience for their customers, but also for athletes. It is perfect for creating ad hoc content in a digital world,” he concluded.

During the conference, experts also stressed that there is a shortage of professional profiles for the metaverse industry. For example, in the blockchain sector alone “there is a plan to train 45,000 people in Spain in the next few years to cover the shortage of qualified personnel,” insisted Asensi. “We must do it right to train our future professionals,” added Sánchez.

During the conference, experts also stressed that there is a shortage of professional profiles for the metaverse industry. For example, in the blockchain sector alone “there is a plan to train 45,000 people in Spain in the next few years to cover the shortage of qualified personnel,” insisted Asensi. “We must do it right to train our future professionals,” added Sánchez.

Nuria Marcos, PONS IP General Manager, was in charge of delivering the conclusions of the conference. All speakers agreed that Spain has a very good opportunity ahead of it, but “we have to train future professionals”. Marcos also stressed the need to work hand in hand in innovation, legal, marketing and commercial areas. “We have a great opportunity as a country to lead the generation of knowledge and opportunities in the new era that comes with the Metaverse. We must take on the technological and legal challenges and not miss this boat”.

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