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Recently, the term 'Metaverse' has been becoming more and more recurrent, although even today, this mysterious world remains unidentified and without defined boundaries.

Suppose we had to give it a definition. In that case, the Metaverse is a digital universe made up of spaces in which, in the first person or through avatars, one can have experiences similar to real life, such as meeting and interacting with other people, but also playing games, working, going to concerts and even creating and selling goods and services. Some even argue that the Metaverse could become a place of refuge for people, where they can escape the limitations of the real world and live alternative lives with a new virtual identity, creating new personal, social, and even economic relationships.

In the Metaverse, users access it through PCs, smartphones, glasses or 3D viewers to enjoy experiences where real and digital overlap and where exploration can take place through augmented reality or virtual reality equipment*.

* Virtual reality is an artificial reality that completely obscures what is in the real environment, giving the feeling of being in another place. Augmented reality, on the other hand, superimposes images and text on top of what the user sees around them without obscuring it completely.

Although the Metaverse is commonly thought of in the singular, in reality, there are, at present, several unconnected Metaverse, made up of abstract cities and places of all kinds, including virtual worlds created either by man, such as video games or simulations or generated by artificial intelligence.

The creation of these new worlds, still under development and in continuous evolution, poses - as it did in the past when the Internet was born - a whole series of questions, including legal ones, considering that in the Metaverse, economic transactions of significant amounts are already taking place through platforms, wallets and virtual currencies. More and more companies, especially in the fashion sector, are investing, bringing their products and even creating collections and advertising campaigns intended only for users of the Metaverse.

Given the growing number of users and economic transactions, the question arises as to which law can be applied in the Metaverse, how, for instance, to handle any issues related to trademark and patent protection or how to protect consumer rights.

There are also significant issues of privacy, data security and, above all, the identification of users, whether individuals or companies.

These issues and problems require immediate and in-depth answers to prevent the Metaverse from becoming a place where the current regulations, including international ones, of the real world are disregarded, thus creating a sort of 'no man's land', a veritable Wild West, where illicit activities can flourish.

Despite these concerns, however, the Metaverse is, to all intents and purposes, a great opportunity to be exploited to the full, to make it a place of global cooperation and collaboration where people from all over the world can come together and also work together to overcome the limitations of the real world, as we have, in part, already experienced during the global pandemic, which has allowed us to accelerate specific changes in our daily lives through the use of technology.

The Metaverse could offer new opportunities for education, work and entertainment and could undoubtedly be used to help solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change and economic inequality.

In such a significant challenge, a decisive role will undoubtedly be played by law firms that will have to assist their clients with competence and professionalism with respect to the new challenges posed by the Metaverse, also in order to preserve and protect their legality and rights.

For this reason, the law firms facing the Metaverse and the daily problems it poses will have to be involved and cooperate in the drafting of appropriate international regulations capable of reconciling the nature and essence of these new worlds that are slowly being discovered, with the need for the legality and the protection of users' rights that cannot be compressed.

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