By Tikwiza Nkowane|www.amdlawgroup.com Ever since Twitter used hashtags, the phenomenon took off with a storm and is not letting up. Businesses and individuals are now using this as a powerful...
Originally posted 2014-09-15 11:00:07.
By Eliana Rocchi | amdlawgroup.com
Today’s expansion of social media websites has created a lot of new opportunities for companies to promote their brand, allowing for new forms of interactivity with countless customers simultaneously. At the same time, though, social networking websites like Facebook or Twitter also make it easier to lose control over one’s brand as anyone can create a Facebook or a Twitter account that contains the company’s brand name or engage in unauthorized uses of their trademark and the magnitude of information going through those websites is hardly easy to control. Here you can find some tips that will help in devising a safe and effective social media strategy without endangering your brand.
1. When a new social-media system comes up your company should be ready to adopt it and/or open one or more accounts on it, as many as necessary to cover all of the most important company’s brands. In that way the company will confine the available opportunities for any third party to open fake accounts.
2. It will also be important to get familiarized with these new websites so as to learn in which ways it could be used for infringement and be proactive adopting the suitable measures that will prevent such infringement. That will certainly reduce the cost of trademark protection.
3. It will help to maintain an attentive presence on the accounts opened to monitor the use of the company’s trademarks and readily spot potential infringements acts on one hand and, on the other hand, to make sure that the accounts do not expire due to idleness.
4. Social media websites often provide takedown procedures or similar safety measures to help enforce brand protection. You should consider and evaluate these procedures as they could be a quicker and cheaper than a law suit in the immediate aftermath. If that does not address the infringement it may be possible to contact a lawyer to send a cease and desist letter or to file suit against the infringer based on likelihood of confusion or dilution, using, in other words, traditional trademark protection strategies.
5. In some cases it will be possible to acquire the ownership of the account from the infringer, without the need for further legal action. This way of addressing the issue also carries the benefit of avoiding the potential image damage that could arise, for example, from closing an unauthorized fan page.
6. Remember that your customers and employees have their accounts on the social media websites as well and this could help you to develop and extend the effectiveness of your brand promotion. It is also possible, when the violation infringes upon a copyright, to resort to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, sending a letter to the IPS provider.
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