​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.

Here's How To Get a Digital License Plate In California

Thanks to a new bill passed on October 5, California drivers now have the choice to chuck their traditional metal license plates and replace them with digital ones.

The plates are referred to as “Rplate” and were developed by Sacramento-based Reviver. A news release on Reviver’s website that accompanied the bill’s passage states that there are “two device options enabling vehicle owners to connect their vehicle with a suite of services including in-app registration renewal, visual personalization, vehicle location services and security features such as easily reporting a vehicle as stolen.”

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Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
steve@dot.la
LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

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Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

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