protecting trademarks on social media


Presentation Description

The business case justifying why trademark owners should reserve their trademarks as user names on social networks.


Presentation Transcript

Protecting Trademarks on Social Media :

11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Protecting Trademarks on Social Media

Topics Covered:

Topics Covered 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Current Situation in Social Media Complications for Trademark Owners Approaches to Protection

Social Media is Exploding:

Social Media is Exploding 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz You’ve heard of : 130 million 120 million 120 million 120 million 120 million But have you heard of…. 100 million …and the Thousands of “smaller” niche players with millions of members each 500 million 160 million 200 million

Social Media is Mainstream:

Social Media is Mainstream 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz 60% of Internet users are members of Social Media Networks – PC Advisor Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web – NY Times More than 21% of cell phone users visit social media from their phones - Comscore Americans spend 25% of their time online on social networks - Nielsen 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content - Nielsen

Usernames are the Internet’s New Brand Identifiers :

Usernames are the Internet’s New Brand Identifiers 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Evolution Online for Trademark Professionals 200 million domain names (90M are .com) 2 billion usernames on top 20 social networks 25% of search results… are links to user generated content and this is growing

Complication – No Barriers to Obtain:

Complication – No Barriers to Obtain Usernames are: Free to obtain First come - first served Typically have profile pages Indexed by search engines Receive traffic and can be monetized Typically NOT Reused

Complication - No Protection Mechanisms:

Complication - No Protection Mechanisms Domain Names - Controlled Today UDRP (Uniform Domain Resolution Policy) WHOIS Anti-Cybersquatting In-Rem Sunrise periods Coming Soon Uniform Rapid Suspension Trademark Clearinghouse IP Claims Usernames – UNCONTROLLED Usernames are the Wild West when compared to Domain Names Today No Dispute Policy No Gatekeepers No Group Coming Soon Nothing Nothing Nothing

Complication - Everything Old is New:

Complication - Everything Old is New Direct infringement Derogatory and defamatory speech Blatantly false information Impersonation of executives


Question What should I do to protect my Trademark’s Usernames in Social Media?

Apply the lessons from Domain Names :

Apply the lessons from Domain Names 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Best Practice – Be Proactive & Not Reactive Reserve your trademarks and key executives as U sernames Identify infringement early

The Costs - Business Case :

The Costs - Business Case 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Proactive – Reserve Now Package cost ~ $ 349 one time fee Trademark secured on 100 social networks Watch the rest Reactive - Do Nothing Assume 50 are taken Assume 10 are of concern Conduct Investigation Cost: $500 x 10 = $5000 Send takedown letters Cost: $500 x 10 = $5000 Sub-total cost: $10,000 50% success rate (5 of 10) Repeat as infractions occur Cost: $1,000/incident Example: Secure house brand in top 100 social networks

Avoid “I think we have people handling this”:

Avoid “I think we have people handling this” 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Best Practices Dictates this should be owned by Legal This is a trademark protection and enforcement issue How is it being managed? Who are keeping the records? Is it anonymous or public? Who is ensuring the accounts remain active? Domain Name Registrars are not in this business Marketing Departments - may address some issues (quick Free S earch on TM.Biz and you’ll know)

Evaluate Benefits and Risks :

Evaluate Benefits and Risks 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Proactive Avoid confusion Avoid loss of revenue Avoid embarrassment Avoid damage control Far less expensive than recovery/clean-up efforts Reactive Consumer confusion Loss of revenue Loss of reputation Legal fees Recovery may not be successful

PowerPoint Presentation:

11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz Reserve trademarks and key executives as usernames Include social media availability searches for all new name creation efforts Monitor for emerging social networks to avoid surprises Investigate “taken” usernames for trademark infringement TM.Biz Allows you to

Sign-Up Now:

Sign-Up Now 11/19/2013 Copyright 2010 TM.Biz 15 Eligible trademark professionals and brand managers can request a free account at: There are no set-up fees or subscription fees Unlimited searching – you pay only for reports