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Granting intellectual property protection to gestures used in virtual reality

Johanna González-Zúñiga

Keywords: intellectual property; protectability; gestures; virtual reality; motion trademarks; copyright moves; patenting movements

The constant re-shaping of the interactive entertainment industry, along with the uprising of technology such as virtual reality, has been challenging the type of assets that can be protected through intellectual property. This paper addresses the issue of whether or not it is possible to protect a simple gesture, designed to transfer a user into a trusted environment, within a virtual reality platform. It is argued that our hypothetical gesture could potentially be protected through copyright, if social structures were to determine it as artistic, as a non-traditional trademark, which have been gaining popularity, or as a patent. As will be reviewed, even though a gesture does not pose a technical solution that would qualify it as patentable material, it is claimed that the drafting of patent applications that involve recognition of movements are describing gestures, which ultimately are granted protection.

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