New VR Experiences in Fashion Bring Trademark Challenges

Fenwick trademark litigation partner Eric Ball talked to World Trademark Review about the challenges associated with fashion companies’ increasing use of virtual reality to connect with a broader customer base.

Fashion brands are utilizing new VR and augmented reality projects to provide consumers in-store experiences from home, but Ball noted that brand reputation and counterfeit risk continue to be top challenges.

Ball talked about how luxury retailers rely on creating immersive atmospheres for their shopping experiences, and that VR experiences might risk lessening their brand experience.

“For some brands, the shopping experience is part of the brand itself. VR can lack the smells, personal assistant touch, and overall feel of a high-end brand experience,” Ball said.

VR also opens up opportunities for counterfeiters and imitators, and consumers may be less likely to have the breadth of perceptive abilities to notice fakes as they would in a brick-and-mortar store, Ball added.

“A consumer cannot necessarily see and feel the label, or see all the trademarks to ensure that it is an authorized product,” he said.

The full article is on World Trademark Review (subscription required).