Did you know that your competitor can purchase and use your company’s trademark (and brand names) for use on the internet, without your consent and with the sanction of American courts? In this article, we’ll show you how to protect your company’s trademark on the Internet.
Here’s How Your Competitors Use Your Own Trademark Against You
• A competitor buys your trademark from Google Adwords (or other similar Internet advertising companies.)
• Then, a potential customer has had positive experiences or has heard good things about your company, so he or she “Googles” the name of your company.
• Google (or whatever search engine that was used) returns the results of the Google search, with your competitor listed.
Plead “Foul” to Google
• Good News: If you see your company’s trademark as a domain name or actually on another company’s website, call Google. Historically, they have been helpful in such situations. They may investigate and remove your trademarked name from the competitor’s site.
• Bad News: if your company’s trademark is not obviously used, but is in your competitor website’s Meta data, help from Google is unlikely, with one caveat. If the Metadata usage is in a country with stricter trademark protection laws than the United States, Google may assist.
Such countries include Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. Non-authorized usage of your trademark in these countries is legally trademark infringement.
Be Your Own Investigator
Because it’s important to work quickly if a competitor is using your company trademark, you must be your own investigator. It’s pretty simple to do so.
• Use an RSS feed of all company trade and branded names.
• Google these names once a week.
If you discover inappropriate usage, consider sending a cease and desist letter to the offending competitor. Sometimes a letter from an attorney is all it takes. Sending a cease and desist letter has its inherent risks and should be discussed with an experienced trademark or intellectual property attorney. If the competitor fails to comply, contact your attorney.
If stronger action is needed, your attorney will know what to do in your specific case. If you have any questions or concerns about trademarks or your competitor’s use of your trademark and brand names on the Internet, be sure to ask Roland Tong. He can be reached at 888-350-6265or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Tong provides every client with a Client Service Guarantee, in which he guarantees the high quality of personal services provided in protecting your intellectual property.