While not big news to anybody who has set foot in the virtual realm, Virtually Blind reports on the large amount of trademark infringement taking place in Second Life each day. He calculates over $2,000,000 in transactions involving unauthorized trademark use each year, and obviously this number will continue to grow. There is a good amount of statistical information in the article as well as good reasons for companies to begin enforcing these rights.
More than anything, the companies should move to protect their rights so that they do not implicitly give them up by not enforcing them. If infringement becomes common practice, it will be much harder to enforce these rights in the future. However, the dilutive effects (consumers being confused about the source of the produce) may not be severe until years from now. Will it be too late?