In a surprise revelation made public last week, CVS is preparing to enter the metaverse with a series of trademark applications. The trademarks are for an umbrella of items labeled “downloadable virtual goods” and cover cosmetics, personal care products, and virtual prescription medications, among other inventory.
A representative from CVS said that the company is looking for ways to engage consumers in a “digital-first, technology-forward” approach. The goal is to deliver healthcare and other related services when and where the customer wants, even if that presumably means the metaverse.
It is uncertain how CVS will use the trademarks or if this is a defensive move to protect their brand from infringement. However, it is a strong statement from a top company in the healthcare industry. Perhaps due to COVID pandemic-related pressure, the industry so far has largely stayed out of the metaverse gold rush, even as other industries have started to adopt Web3 technology.
If CVS is bold, it could pursue the route of McDonald’s, which seeks to open a virtual store in the metaverse. But rather than selling simple digital goods, McDonald’s wants to give consumers the option of ordering a meal, then having it delivered in person. CVS could theoretically do the same for its products and, someday, even prescription drugs.
More Companies Filing Trademarks for the Metaverse
If CVS’s entrance into the metaverse doesn’t come as a surprise, it might be due to the number of companies that have made similar headlines. To date, McDonald’s, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, and many others have filed for trademarks related to “virtual goods” or the metaverse.
And it’s not just heavyweight companies either. The New York Stock Exchange, a centuries-old organization, filed for trademarks related to Web3 technologies, sparking rumors that the organization wanted to open an NFT marketplace and challenge OpenSea.
While this may appear like just a bunch of smoke to the layperson, other companies are laying the bricks already. Miller Lite has opened a bar in Decentraland, Gucci has bought metaverse land, and Tokens.com purchased a vast estate with plans to host the metaverse fashion show later this month.
There is no telling how CVS will plan to use its trademarks, but there’s no doubt that more adoption of Web3 technologies is occurring and that the metaverse, NFTs, Web3, and the blockchain are not going anywhere anytime soon.