3 Tips to Protect your Brand Names Online.
A reputable and visible online presence is becoming a cornerstone of all business today. Social Media opens up new platforms to sell your goods and services to a global audience.
Ensuring you have a unique brand image is key to setting yourself apart and beating the competition. Your brand is your identity that your customers are drawn to.
With more platforms comes more competition and more instances of infringement. We have noted a significant increase in trademark infringement and passing off online and our clients have used us to enforce their rights and protect their business. Protecting and enforcing your rights online can be a challenge because it is open for anybody to create a profile online and use it to take advantage of your good name. It is important to know how to protect yourself.
Below is some good practice that you can use to protect your business profile online.
1. Register a Trade Mark for your Company’s Name, Logo, and any memorable slogan or tag line that people associate your business with.
A trademark protects your company from competitors by providing you with the exclusive rights to use your name or logo in connection with your goods or services. It puts beyond doubt that you are the registered owner of such marks and gives you rights to prevent others from unauthorised infringement. Trademarks will also build your IP portfolio, which becomes a valuable asset as your business grows and can be sold or licenced in future.
The following should be registered trademarks:
- Company name (e.g. McDonalds)
- Company logo (e.g. the Golden Arches)
- Company slogan (e.g. “Am lovin It”)
- Company brands (e.g. “Happy Meal” – or the reader’s choice “Big Mac”… with fries… and coke… large…).
2. Register your company name and brands on social media itself.
For start ups, do this before you decide on a name, or for existing businesses as soon as possible, carry out a search for your company name on social media channels and register your name or hook with the platform. For example Mcdonalds Twitter handle is #Mcdonalds; and it will be worth a lot.
If you would like us to deal with your company set up we can do this. Contact us today and click here to find out more about similar transactionary services we offer.
Failing to register these names risks someone else doing so which can give rise to infringement, confusion, or mean you have to approach the owner in the future to buy the handle from them, which they may be unwilling to do.
You should also register your Domain Names appropriately. You can have as many as you like and you may want to ensure you pick up the Top Level Domain (TLD), for example, having “.com”, “.co.uk”, “.ie”, “.shop”, “.club”, or whichever is relevant. Your websites can redirect meaning whichever top level domain a visitor clicks on they will be redirected to your parent page, which can increase your reach online.
Like with your trademarks you can also have designated pages or handles for your major brands in addition to your company name.
Another benefit of this is that it can improve your search engine rankings.
3. Monitor online activity for Infringement and Take Appropriate Action
You need to be active in enforcing your rights against would be infringers. Not only does this prevent infringement and warn off, but it protects your trademarks themselves. If you do not enforce your marks and allow other marks to subsist, you may be taken to impliedly consent to them and even lose your own trade mark rights to them.
It is your responsibility to actively identify potential infringers and take appropriate action against them.
This may be done informally by simply searching every now and again, or you may have an employee whose duties include searching and stopping infringement, or you may utlilise a third party search company, if you deem it necessary or have big brands needing to be protected.
At Ai Law we routinely protect our client’s IP through dealing directly with social media platforms and effective legal measures including cease and desists, take down notices, and injunctive relief proceedings.
We are able to protect you
Here at Ai Law we are experienced in Intellectual property matters and disputes. This may be if somebody has infringed your intellectual property, or if defamatory and damaging statements have been made about your business online. Contact us today to speak to somebody and take steps to protect your business and brands.
Speak to us.
Contact us today to find out more and somebody from our e-business or dispute resolution team can help you.
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This information is in no way to be taken as legal advice or tax advice. It is for information purposes only and is in no way to be relied upon. You should always seek the appropriate professional legal advice before attempting to act on any of the information given here.Go back to previous page
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Ai Law is a trading name of the Ai Law Group, a recognised body law practice, regulated by SRA (SRA No.,: 670155). Registered office: Ai Law, 8 Water Street, Liverpool, L2 8TD, UK. We use the word 'partner' to mean a senior manager or consultant, or a shareholder and in no way is such title used to be held out. Ai Change Management is a connected company and part of the Ai Law Group. Our regulatory body: www.sra.org.uk