Nike leaked patents reveal metaverse plans

Nike is joining Meta in its efforts to establish a foothold in the metaverse, according to patents seen by Businesses Insider.

The sportswear giant has already established a studio focussed around creating metaverse products and is currently in the process of hiring creatives with relevant skills.

Nike has had the plans for the virtual ecosystem for years and hasn’t been inspired by Facebook’s recent change in direction.

People close to the matter have told Business Insider they believe that the sportswear retailer could soon release its first digital products.

According to the patent fillings, which are dated back to 2018, the company has laid the intellectual property foundations for a virtual world, with avatars and new ways to buy and exchange Nike goods.

The patents also suggest a world of electronic shoes, digital trainers and virtual drops.

Nike bagged John Donahoe to take over its chief executive role after formerly being at the helm of ecommerce giant tech company Ebay and ServiceNow.

“The future is digital. Nike has been very transparent about the fact that we have had a digital strategy in the works,” a person close to the matter at Nike told Business Insider.

“And it’s paying dividends. Who wouldn’t want to invest further into what’s worked?”

The company recently secured a patent for an “avatar for social network services”, in August.

READ MORE: Nike files trademark on ‘downloadable virtual goods’

The plans detail an avatar connected with the users real life athletic performance, meaning that if a user completes a workout, they would unlock the use of a new shirt or pair of shoes.

Nike recently filed for trademarks on downloadable digital goods, submitting four trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 27.

However, the applications will not be officially finalised until they are placed in commercial use, as they are based on intended usage.

The sportswear leader has also had its patent for “cryptokicks” revealed by leaked documents in 2019, which are essentially a way of the company creating digital sneakers connected with physical ones.

The idea being that consumers would be able to sell the digital sneakers or keep pairs in an online wallet.

“In this embodiment, a digital shoe may be created in a preset and/or controlled limited quantity and distributed as part of a promotion, event, moment, or contest,” the patent revealed.

“For example, spectators at a professional sporting home opener may give the right to acquire one of a limited quantity of unique digital assets, each being separately secured via its own cryptographic token.”

The plans also reveal other applications, which also include a defence against fake goods, which remains a big problem for big apparel brands.

They also describe a method of creating “virtual lines” that would help users get Nike’s most coveted shoes based on “social interactions, physical locations and attentiveness.”

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