Intellectual Theft: What If Someone Is Using Your Brand Name?
A situation involving intellectual theft can be murky for businesses to navigate. Understanding what intellectual theft actually is can get really confusing when the competitors are using similar offers and promotional plans to lure customers. Also, the difference in the location of the businesses’ operations results in no consequences for those carrying out intellectual theft.
However, using someone else’s business name is plain intellectual theft and calls for an infringement lawsuit. If you have stumbled upon a situation where someone is using your business’s name in the same marketplace, then there are three things that you should do to get back the exclusive rights to your business and brand name.
1. File a Trademark Lawsuit
If your business is trademarked and registered with the respective authorities, then you should immediately file an infringement lawsuit. You will need to reach out to the local court with your business license registration and trademark papers to initiate the process. In the meantime, write a cease-and-desist letter to the guilty party.
2. Lodge Complains on Social Media Platforms
Lawsuits in courts can take time to get resolved. In today’s digital age, culprits can inflict a lot of damage to a business by using its name in the social media landscape. You can directly reach out to the support teams of the respective social media platforms and file the request to take out the impersonating entity.
YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have a strict policy against impersonations and username squatting. They will delete the account of the entity using a name that you are the rightful owner of. Twitter allows users to make parody accounts. However, if the impersonating account is being used for commercial reasons, then Twitter usually suspends it.
3. Dealing with Cybersquatting
In the online world, cybersquatting has become an effective way to ‘hijack’ brand and business names. Criminals often register domains with the trademarked names and then illegally sell them to the actual owners of that intellectual property. It’s a crime and you can definitely take action against it.
ICANN is an internal body that oversees domain name registration all over the world. You can file a complaint with any of the dispute resolution providers of ICANN to act against any domain existing on the web with your trademarked name.
To take all the above-mentioned measures, it is imperative that you have promptly registered and trademarked your business name, logo, and any other intellectual property. The documentation and other tangible proofs make the basis to prove that someone is using your business name.
It is also important that you take the services of experienced professionals when setting up your digital front. While creating and developing your domain and social media accounts, they can ensure that you are using the name, logo, and other trademarks that are unique and original.
MK Marketing Services offers the development and hosting of domains and securing of social media accounts through trademark registrations. They also ensure that works made through their services don’t imitate someone else’s work.