Kimberly Culp was quoted on March 14, 2018, in LegalTechNews and Law.com about the emerging legal intellectual property issues surrounding the AR or VR landscape, specifically the use of avatars, which are graphic icons users choose as their representations on a platform. These avatars can open up AR or VR products to IP issues, should an avatar infringe on a protected copyright or trademark.
Ms. Culp noted that such potential infringement is already happening in the video game industry. "We certainly see in the video game context players who want to use images of companies they like, or games that they like, and the appropriation of those images is arguably a copyright infringement if one wanted to make that argument."
According to the article, the legal issues that arise with user-generated data regarding VR and AR products don't end with the content its customers produce; they also extend to the data the products may collect from the users themselves.
"Biometric data is certainly one that gives me pause and gives others pause," Culp said.
She noted that, while "biometrics themselves aren't really a new issue," what is new is the "vast amount and different types of data AR and VR can and will collect."
Some VR technology, Culp explained, "can track where you’re looking at a particular piece of content and how you are engaging through eye-tracking with content and can provide data back to advertisers."
In addition to collecting biometric data, there may be additional privacy and legal concerns over the "data that AR and VR technology takes in about a user's external surroundings," Culp said.