Protecting your intellectual property, for many people, companies and organizations, requires changing business strategies to address the importance of social media. What do you do if your copyrighted images are being used on Facebook or Twitter without your permission? Has someone else staked a claim to your brand or company name on its social media page?
It is important for all businesses to adopt an intellectual property protection strategy specifically designed to address these, and other, social media concerns. In this post we will discuss a few important issues.
Copyright and trademarks laws apply to social media.
When it comes to trademarks, the law offers the same protections for social media as it does for other areas. That means you can prevent someone else in a similar line of business as yours from using your trademarked brand or product name in social media. You should consider protecting your trademark (and any permutations of your trademark) as your Twitter handle, your Facebook URL/page and your domain name as soon as possible can help prevent trademark violations.
Copyright infringement is also a concern on social media. Photography or website content is being used on social media without permission. Copyright owners can elect to pursue a copyright infringement action. However, to minimize costs, a strongly worded cease and desist letter often remedies the situation.
Monitoring social media for infringement must be a priority.
Social media also requires careful monitoring. This can be difficult given the speed at which information is exchanged. There are tools available to help you monitor social media for certain key terms like company name or brand.
There are legal options available to stop infringement.
If you discover your copyright or trademark rights have been violated, there are a number of legal options available. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have established complaint procedures. As noted above, it is also possible to contact the infringer directly and request them to remove the illegal content.
In some circumstances, these tactics may not be successful and a lawsuit may be your best option. In these cases, you should always consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney.
How I Can Help
I understand the challenges faced by businesses and individuals seeking to protect their valuable intellectual property and I can work with you to come up with a plan that meets your IP, financial, budgetary and business goals.
If you need help protecting a patent, copyright or trademark, foreign or domestic, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +