Now more than ever, many entrepreneurs are seeing other businesses copy their brand names / trademarks online. This is called trademark infringement.
Most online platforms, whether it be an e-commerce like Shopify or a social media platform like Facebook, have trademark infringement policies and a process that allows you to defend your trademark rights online.
Before filing the complaint, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you have a valid claim. In other words, make sure that you have the following:
- Trademark rights, and
- A good faith belief that the other person’s use may cause a likelihood of confusion
If your trademark is registered, it will be easier and quicker to stop the infringement. The trademark registration certificate serves to prove to the online platforms such as: Shopify, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, etc., that:
- The brand name / trademark is yours
- As the owner, you have not authorized the use of your trademark
- The infringing activity must be stopped
Once you submit the complaint, the online platform may decide to order the infringing business to stop using your trademark. If the infringement continues, they risk having their online business shut down.
Another option worth considering is negotiating a licensing agreement for the rights to use your trademark. But that option is up to you and most viable if you have registered your trademark.
Be Proactive and Defend Your Trademark Online
In essence, online businesses are popping up every day and it’s only a matter of time before one of those businesses infringes on your brand name / trademark.
The truth is that you can either defend your trademark online or you can do nothing and watch how others use your brand name, confuse your customers and profit from your goodwill and hard work.
Also, register ALL of your trademarks. A trademark is anything that identifies your business in commerce. Examples are logos, slogans, domain names, words, product packaging, etc. Trademarks take time and energy to create, make sure to protect and defend all of them.
The trademark defense process explained above is somewhat similar to using copyright DMCA for the online defense of your creative content. This is so because registering the original work of art (script, song lyrics, musical composition, photograph, audiovisual work, graphic works, etc.) with the US Copyright Office, serves as proof of ownership. Therefore, copyright registration also makes the process of defending your copyrightable content online easier.
Empower yourself with ways to defend your intellectual property rights online. Solid Rep will help you register your trademarks and register your copyrights. Furthermore, if your intellectual property rights are currently being copied or infringed, contact Solid Rep. We will analyze your case and defend your intellectual property.