McDonald’s is the latest to file trademark applications for virtual goods, services and even virtual restaurants and cafes, leaning into a growing trend of major corporations preparing for a potential wave of virtual reality marketplaces spearheaded by Meta, parent company of Facebook, and its envisioned virtual world, the metaverse.

Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer whose firm tracks new trademark filings on a daily basis, first made note of the requests on Twitter Wednesday, pointing out 10 applications filed by McDonald’s.

The McDonald’s filings, listed February 4, request to trademark, among other things, “Operating a virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods,” and “operating a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery.”

It also aims to trademark “on-line actual and virtual concerts” and other entertainment services within its virtual McCafe.  

The requests follow Panera Bread’s February 3 filing for the “Paneraverse,” a request from the bakery company to trademark its downloadable, virtual food and beverage items “for use in virtual worlds,” along with NFTs and the option to purchase actual goods in the virtual world to be delivered.

McDonald’s and Panera Bread are the latest to prepare for a potential virtual establishment revolution, joining major corporations like NikeWalmart and Sketchers, who have all made similar filings in the past three months.


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