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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

6:00pm Pacific

Exploring the Metaverse: A Legal Primer

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In August of 2020, Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, sued Apple and Google in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing the tech giants of anti-competitive behavior. Epic’s attack focused on the platforms’ app distribution practices -- in particular, their payment terms.

During the Epic v. Apple bench trial, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney testified about his vision for the metaverse and how he believed Apple’s requirement that developers exclusively use its in-app purchasing system – including paying Apple a 30% cut of every purchase – stood in the way.

In her 185-page ruling, District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez found that “Mr. Sweeney's personal beliefs about the future of the metaverse are sincerely held” and offered her own factual observations about the metaverse. (The case is currently on appeal.)

While Judge Gonzalez may have been the first federal district court judge to explicitly use the term “metaverse” in a judicial opinion, legal scholars have used this term since the 1990s. In this presentation – the second in our “Exploring the Metaverse” series – we will cover:

  1. Differing perspectives on the metaverse, including Judge Gonzalez’s observations in Epic v. Apple; and
  2. How copyright (and other) law has been applied to disputes in virtual worlds, as well as to new technologies underpinning the so-called metaverse, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain.

To help guide us through these topics, we will hear from Dan Nabel, Senior Director and Associate General Counsel at Riot Games. Mr. Nabel currently serves as the Treasurer of the Los Angeles Copyright Society, teaches Video Game Law at USC Gould, and co-authored Video Game Law in a Nutshell (West Academic, 2018).

Dan began his practice as a litigator at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger and served for a year as the director for USC Gould’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic before moving in-house.





Joel Tantalo

Tantalo & Adler LLP


Andrew J. Thomas
Jenner & Block

Vice President

 Vivian S. Lee

The Walt Disney Company


Dan Nabel

Riot Games


Ian Slotin


Peter Anderson
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Jacqueline Charlesworth

Charlesworth Law

Daniel M. Flores

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Elaine Kim

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

Chris Reed

Fox Corporation

Jennifer E. Rothman

Penn Law

Gloria Franke Shaw

The Walt Disney Company

Kenneth Trujillo-Jamison


John Ulin

Immediate Past President

Catherine Bridge

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