Today, companies, brands, and business owners count on social media platforms as an effective way to spread their word, reach more customers and connect with fans. However, as the number of businesses and brands participating on these platforms continues to rise, so too does the possibility of copy-cats and copyright infringement occurring.
Whether you use social media to run ads, connect with your customers on Facebook, or share updates on through tweets it is important to stay vigilant in protecting your brand and intellectual property online.
Social media threats: Why should you be concerned?
While IP theft might seem like something only big brands should be worried about, the reality is, if you are serious about using social media to grow your business you’ll want to protect yourself against copycats and counterfeit activity.
Through impersonation, there are many ways online users can misrepresent or hurt your brand. The simplest encounter is through look-a-like accounts that offer similar services or goods intending to profit from your brand. Online users might also create parody accounts that share misinformation or present your brand in a bad light.
How do you protect your brand on social media?
If you see evidence of copycats or infringement of your content the first thing to do is to notify the social media platform.
All major social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have their unique policies on trademarks and copyright issues. Simply notifying the social media platform, in most cases, is enough for the site to shut down the page that is infringing your trademark. On Twitter, for example, if you spot an account that violates your trademark you can issue a “takedown notice” by reporting specific tweets to Twitter for violation.
However, if you are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with the platform then you might want to file for a trademark.
Using trademark to protect your social media platform
To register a trademark for your social media user name, there are a few perquisites you’ll need to meet.
One, your account or content should be tied to a product or a service. If you are sharing information or content merely for entertainment but you are not offering any service or product then you’ll have a hard time securing a trademark for your brand.
Second, your username, hashtags, slogan, or any other words or phrases you want to protect should be original and distinct enough to only identify your products or services. This will ensure that the words you are filing a trademark for do not confuse customers or get mistaken for other brands.
Protecting your brand online using trademarks is the best way to keep other users from infringement issues. If you are uncertain whether your activity online qualifies for trademark protection in the eyes of USPTO you can always consult an IP lawyer to help you out.
Social media is a great tool for growing your brand and reaching potential customers, but if you are not too careful it could be the cause of your downfall. To stay safe, ensure that you take the necessary steps to avoid infringement of your content and brand name.
You can always reach out to Millar IP Law if you have any questions about social media content infringement, and we’ll be glad to help you out. Otherwise, good luck with your business.
If you are a startup, small business, or a solo-inventor looking for a high quality & affordable patent or trademark, you've found the right place. Miller IP Law offers transparent and affordable options specifically designed for your business goals. Grab a strategy meeting to kick things off!
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