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McDonalds Files Patents For Its Launch Into The McMetaverse

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

Now you can just call it the “McMetaverse.”

The global fast food giant McDonald’s Restaurants has become the latest mega-corporation to take a deep dive into the metaverse.

According to tweets from trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, McDonalds has filed several patents to develop goods and services in the metaverse, including digital restaurants, cafes and products.

Gerben revealed 10 separate patent applications McDonalds recently filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

According to Gerben’s tweeted heads up, the burger giant is “headed to the metaverse” after filing the patents on Feb. 4. Specifically, the patents covers potential new services like “a virtual restaurant featuring actual and virtual goods,” as well as “operating a virtual restaurant featuring home delivery.”

Other patents cover ground we’ve seen before, like technologies designed to stages various types of online entertainment in the metaverse, like “actual and virtual concerts.”

Of course, McDonalds is far from the only company investing in the development of metaverse technologies. Many of the world’s leading brands, including video game giants Roblox and Fortnite, retailer Walmart, footwear leaders Nike and Adidas, and fashion houses like Gucci, Balenciaga, Burberry and Ralph Lauren (among many others) have launched a wide range of metaverse products and services.

On the food and beverage side, Panera Bread filed similar patent applications for a so-called Paneraverse platform that would involve virtual food, beverages, and some tasty non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Gerben, in a written statement to Forbes, said these patents are the first wave of a massive adoption of the metaverse by major corporations worldwide. “When you see this critical mass of large companies making this many new trademark filings, it’s very clear this is coming,” Gerben said. “I think you’re going to see every brand that you can think of make these filings within the next 12 months. I don’t think anyone wants to be the next Blockbuster and just completely ignore a new technology that’s coming.”

The idea of a restaurant entering the metaverse is new, however, and some skeptics might say that food in a digital world might be a bit on the bland side.

However, it appears from McDonalds’ patent filings that the company is planning to focus on using the metaverse to sell more food in the real world, simply by making it easier and much cooler to order food online. Much of the technology McDonalds is trying to claim is based on new ways for its customers to order food for delivery to their real-life homes.

Behind all the talk of NFTs and collectibles, brands have realized something important about the metaverse. If people are going to be spending more time there, than brands need to have their store fronts and their marketing in front of those digital eyeballs. In other words, if someone is spending their day working in the metaverse, and then gets hungry, having a McDonalds Restaurant to order from makes it much more likely that he or she will order a Big Mac, rather than searching around for the nearest takeaway. Giving people the ability to order their food where they work and play in the metaverse, and deliver it rapidly to their homes, is key to the patents being filed by both McDonalds and Panera.

All of which makes you wonder, just what kind of toys are going to be in those digital Happy Meals?