In a move likely to galvanize the race for virtual real estate, McDonald’s filed 10 trademarks on February 4th related to the metaverse. The trademark language highlights McDonald’s plans to:
- Operate a virtual restaurant featuring actual or virtual goods
- Operate a virtual restaurant online featuring home delivery
- Contain virtual food and beverage products
- Utilize downloadable media files, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
The largest fast-food chain also filed a trademark surrounding McCafe to allow for virtual concerts and events at virtual McCafe locations. Virtual shows in Decentraland and Fortnite have proven popular as they remove geographic restrictions and allow anyone in the world with an internet connection to attend.
Josh Gerben, a prominent patents attorney whose office monitors trademarks filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, broke the news of the trademarks on Twitter:
McDonald’s is headed to the metaverse.
The company has filed 10 (TEN!) trademark applications indicating it plans to offer “a virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods” and “operating a virtual restaurant featuring home delivery.”#Mcdonalds #Metaverse pic.twitter.com/J9pK7EK9nl
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) February 9, 2022
The McDonald’s news falls on the heels of other companies filing trademarks or purchasing land in the “Big 4” metaverses in a rush to take advantage of the new technology. One of these companies is McDonald’s competitor Panera Bread, which may offer a similar metaverse Panera Bread delivery service through a Panera order online option.
While detractors say “the metaverse” is just another tech buzzword and won’t have actual use cases, many companies don’t want to get left behind.
Metaverse Ordering with Home Delivery a Next Possible Step
The language in the McDonald’s trademarks references an innovation in the popular science fiction novel Ready Player One, wherein a person can order goods in the metaverse and have them delivered to your door.
Gerben made another tweet to that effect when talking about the aims of McDonald’s trademarks: “You are hanging out in the metaverse and get hungry. You don’t have to put down your headset. You walk into a McDonald’s and place an order. It arrives at your door a little while later.”
The innovation of adding home delivery to metaverse businesses would give it a strong use case and pave the way for more companies to set up virtual stores in metaverses.
In that sense, the metaverse would be another place to shop. And with the addition of virtual and augmented reality, the shopping experience could be both varied and life-like. This situation could blend virtual and physical economies, and it could lead to a broader use case for non-fungible tokens as well.
Certainly, it would give added utility to phrases like “McDonald’s restaurant near me.”