AI, Metaverse, and Emerging Technologies

AI and Emerging Technologies


As emerging technologies evolve, so do the legal issues businesses encounter, continuously expanding in complexity and importance. Moreover, these technologies—including artificial intelligence (AI), large language models (LLMs), image-generating models, code-generating technologies, and other generative AI; machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies; blockchain, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse; data analytics; robotic process automation; emerging payment solutions; facial recognition; and more—are becoming ubiquitous even within non-technology companies.

At Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we regularly advise clients as they grapple with new technologies and innovate within new digital terrain. Our advice incorporates decades of experience in technology-related matters in our core industries (financial services, energy, technology, retail and consumer products, and real estate), as well as our depth in dozens of practice areas.

Whether you are seeking to secure, license, or enforce intellectual property (IP) rights; protect personal or business data; contract for services; establish your business; or market and sell your products and services—we can help you develop and execute strategies to navigate the emerging technology frontier. For example:

  • Our IP team helps protect and defend trademarks in the metaverse, including for NFTs and related brands in NFT marketplaces, and prosecutes patents related to AI, ML, blockchain, and cryptography. We regularly draft and negotiate IP and technology contracts for development and licensing of new technologies, including application of ML models in a variety of fields, such as medical diagnostics, innovative patient care, and human resource management. And we counsel clients on IP risks arising from use cases of generative AI, including automatically generated text, software code, and images.
  • Our privacy and cybersecurity team advises on complex AI governance issues, helps build privacy and cybersecurity-savvy business models to enable the development of AI applications while addressing the requirements of complex data laws and risks, and solves policy and regulatory problems associated with the collection, use, and disclosure of personal and confidential business information, including in the metaverse. We also:
    • assist clients in establishing comprehensive AI risk-management programs integrated within their business operations to address global legislation and
    • draft AI governance policies and procedures to establish governance frameworks specific to data processing operations involving the use of AI.
  • Our FinTech team helps deploy blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, including smart contracts, cryptocurrency, digital assets, and tokens for financial transactions, including in the metaverse, and advises on emerging third-party FinTech services.
  • Our outsourcing, technology, and commercial contracting team helps draft and negotiate emerging technology-related agreements, contracts, and licenses.
  • Our litigation teams monitor AI, metaverse, and emerging technology filings and legal developments in real time, and created an award-winning platform for automatically identifying, cataloging, and tracking such litigation.

Emerging technologies are accompanied by challenges that implicate a number of practice areas. We know that for many clients these new technologies help drive business and also present unique concerns. Through the combination of our understanding how generative AI works and our knowledge of emerging technologies, our cross-disciplinary team is positioned to advise on the associated issues and risks and litigate claims from both a technical and legal perspective.



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