Archive for the ‘Trademark’ category

Social Awareness ..

June 19, 2010

I’ve mentioned in my earlier post on cybersquatting and how a company’s website is extremely valuable for its online presence and online brand identity with a sole mode of online communication to reach its customers. But complications arise when businesses set up their profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote their brands.

What I’m trying to say is that, businesses are increasingly taking to social networks to communicate with customers. Where as now, not only do organizations and individuals have to be vigilant and proactive to protect their brand by registering all the variations of their brand as domain names, they also have to keep up with the latest fraudulence! Similar to Apple’s case with Twitter, I mean social network squatting!

Since, social networks are springing up all over the place and social media squatting happens to pose a threat to organizations and individual names, registering their brand name with all social networks is going to be an overwhelming task!!

Facebook, for example, to stave off abuses and extent companies desire for marketing on Facebook, permits users to register only one username for their Facebook  page and profile. The username can not be transferred and amended to third-parties. Although these limitations are not a remedy for a potential infringement, it should prevent Facebook username cybersquatters and typosquatters from hijacking multiple usernames that belong to brand owners or that are variation on third-party brands.

What’s your take on it?

Source:A New Kind of Cybersquatting Facebook, Twitter and Online Social Media Sites martindale.com    

What’s mine is yours!

June 18, 2010

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Internet’s popularity and ease of access has encouraged businesses to establish their image and reputation online. No matter what the business its Internet presence starts with a domain name – a unique address on the Internet – that is often the same  as the business name or the name of one of its products or services.

But there has been many occasions where trademark owners have become a victim of cybersquatting. The idea of cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name of someone else’s trademark with the intention of getting an unfair means of profit. Moreover they create confusion by changing the trademarked name with a different suffix for example  mcdonalds.info or by playing with letters in a brand name like pannasonic.com. Cybersquatters also have targeted celebrities by abusing their name registration like Scarlett Johanson and Dennis Rodman.

Cybersquatting hit records in 2008. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) only in itself was involved in about 2329 cases in the same year and according to the United Nations, the most targeted category by cybersquatting was pharmaceuticals.

What’s your take on it? 

Adidas,Abidas,Adibas!?

May 25, 2010

“All is fair in love and war.” Ok, right! but how about when it comes to business? It’s true that the most important aspect of business is making money and of course many companies are doing whatever it takes to reach that goal. This is where Unfair Competition comes in and no matter what the business, it’s just about taking advantage through false, fraudulent, or unethical commercial conduct. However, what constitutes as an “unfair” act varies with the context of the business and its involved facts and actions.

Here I’m going to introduce some practices that fall into the category of unfair competition like: misleading advertising, misappropriation of trade secrets, misrepresentation of products or services, below-cost selling, dumping and substitution of one brand of goods for another one. It’s good to mention that the famous aspect of unfair competition is trademark infringement, where someone intentionally means to defraud and confuse buyers or does it unintentionally, but there is still a likelihood of confusion.

Another scope of trademark infringement in unfair competition is trademark dilution, where there is no need to prove a likelihood of confusion, but there is still damage done to a famous mark. It can happen either by blurring or tarnishment.

Well, it’s clear that the touchstone of any trademark infringement case is likelihood of confusion. But it still remains the fundamental rule of fair dealing and honesty. What’s your take on it?

Google’s SEARCH for justice!

April 11, 2010

A trademark infringement suit was brought to the EU court by Google after losses in the French Court system. Louis Vuitton filled a suit against Google claiming that Google was allowing other companies to bid for and use its brand name as keyword to trigger ads on its website. The EU court of justice said ” Google has not infringed trademark law by allowing advertisers to purchase keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trademarks”. The ECJ also added ” Advertisers themselves, however, cannot, by using such keywords, arrange for Google to display ads which do not allow internet users easily to establish from which undertaking the goods or services covered by the ad in question originate”. It was a close call for Google, but they managed to come on top. What’s your take on it?

Source: guardian.co.uk. Read the full Post