A Singapore-based Alibaba subsidiary has applied for multiple trademarks related to the metaverse, as shown by public records seen by KrASIA.
Alibaba Singapore Holdings Co., Ltd. submitted applications for over 20 trademarks, including “Ali Metaverse” and “Taobao Metaverse,” on September 18, according to information compiled by data aggregator Tianyancha. The trademarks’ categories span advertising, education, entertainment, and telecommunications. All applications are currently being processed by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).
While this may point to the possibility of Alibaba laying the groundwork for building services in the metaverse, the applications may also be meant to fend off patent trolls. Just four days before Alibaba submitted applications for the new trademarks, an accounting firm in Shandong Province applied for a trademark labeled “Alibaba Metaverse.”
The law firm’s submission is also currently being processed by the CNIPA.
The metaverse is one of the newest frontiers for innovation—and the latest sector in which an investment frenzy is taking place. In September, several video game companies claimed they were developing new titles that will blur the line between physical and virtual realities, sending their stock prices to new heights.
While Alibaba’s strategy remains unclear, one other conglomerate is staking its future on the metaverse. Tencent has already applied for over 70 trademarks related to this space, according to Tianyancha, with some pointing to its popular mobile games.
Another tech giant, ByteDance, will likely also be active in this sector. It acquired one of the world’s largest VR headset makers, Pico, in late August.