​A mural of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in the Arts District.
Photo by Decerry Donato

Kobe Bryant’s Legacy Will Live On—In the Metaverse

NBA fans may be able to see the late Kobe Bryant again one day—in the metaverse.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend’s estate filed three trademark applications—for “Kobe Bryant,” “Mamba Forever” and “Mambacita” (in reference to Bryant’s late daughter Gianna)—with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 28, according to Business Insider. The trademarks cover “virtual and digital interactive representations” of both Bryant and his daughter “for use in virtual experiences and the metaverse,” as well as “virtual and digital goods” including art, avatars, games, trading cards and NFTs.

It’s been more than two years since Bryant, his daughter and seven other people died in a January 2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas, stunning the Southern California region and the wider world. Last month, a bronze statue of Kobe and Gianna Bryant was unveiled at the crash site in the memory of the Lakers legend and his daughter, a youth basketball player in her own right.

Since the accident, Bryant’s estate—led by his widow Vanessa— has trademarked footwear, apparel and wine under Kobe Inc., a brand development firm Bryant created in 2013 to control his business interests. Those interests may soon extend to the metaverse, with the much-hyped virtual realm emerging as a platform through which brands and businesses can expand their reach.

“There’s been this avalanche of trademark filings from different companies and celebrities to protect their rights as it pertains to things in the metaverse,” Washington-based trademark lawyer Josh Gerben told Bloomberg.

In December, brand management firm Authentic Brands filed trademark applications on behalf of Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant’s old Lakers teammate and frenemy, that cover Shaq’s name and likeness in the metaverse.

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Meet the Bird ‘Fleet Managers’ Who Hunt and Release E-Scooters in Downtown Los Angeles
Photo by Maylin Tu

It’s Friday night in Downtown Los Angeles and fleet manager Adan Aceves is cruising the streets in his Ford Ranger pickup truck looking for a bird — not an e-scooter, but an actual bird.

“First time I saw the bird I was wondering what the hell is it doing in Downtown?,” said Aceves. “It doesn't seem like a city bird, like a pigeon or a seagull…The second time I realized, ‘Damn, I only find this fool in Skid Row.’”

We never come across the mysterious bird who acts like a human. Instead, we drive the streets of Downtown, dropping off and picking up scooters — a different type of Bird — under the bright lights and amid throngs of people, many of them dressed to the nines and out on the town, looking for a good time.

By day, Aceves, 41, works in his family’s business repairing power tools in South Central. By night, he deploys, charges and rebalances e-scooters for Bird, one of eleven fleet managers located Downtown. The zone that he covers includes Dignity Health on Grand Avenue (once called California Hospital) where he was born.

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Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Blockchain-Powered Museum Arkive Launches Out of Stealth In Santa Monica
Image courtesy Arkive

Historical documents, records and important artifacts are sometimes locked away in vaults (until a museum or library wants to showcase them), and under restricted access. Thomas McLeod believes that these artifacts hold great value and have the potential to impact communities, so he founded Arkive, the first decentralized, physical museum.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

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