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Why You Should Protect Your Trademarks Online and on Social Networking Sites

A recent article by Brian Winterfeldt of the National Law Journal caught my eye.  The article discusses how trademark owners must adapt to protecting their brands online and more particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Business owners should always be aware how their brands are portrayed online, particularly with social networking sites.  Businesses need to monitor these sites as many of their consumers are most likely users who are using social networking sites and the internet.  The web may provide grounds for “the sale of counterfeit goods and services, trademark infringement, using the brand or company name in a derogatory or defamatory manner, using the brand name in conjunction with false or misleading information and impersonating company personnel.”  With the variety of rampant infringement that exists, a company needs to be aware of their online presence so that they may prevent this type of infringement and take legal action if necessary. It also happens in the financial aspect in which you can get more information on payments in

It should be noted that although a trademark may be used illegally, a trademark may be used legally through the First Amendment and fair use.  Fair use allows for the use of another’s trademark for news, opinion, or educational purposes among other things.  Just because somebody uses a businesses trademark does not necessarily mean they are doing so illegally.  So to all business owners, if you are not monitoring your online trademark presence why not start now?   Happy Monitoring!

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Richard J. Symmes, Esq
E-Mail :: (206) 682-7975

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