Protecting intellectual property has become an imperative action today with the threats of theft increasing within the online and offline world. Despite some best efforts by companies, they still sometimes become victims, particularly with trade secrets coveted by competitors or by overseas hackers. Beyond trade secrets being stolen, there's also the possibility of people abusing your trademarks, patents, or copyrights. The question is whether you have an online watchdog procedure in place to catch these acts and take action to protect your IP.
Sometimes known as a brand reputation disaster recovery plan, many businesses are taking precautions in the event someone is abusing their IP online in a manner that smears their name. This is a different type of IP protection you may have to use to complement any other security measures you may be taking. But it can be challenging due to the expense and time required to keep an eye out for IP abuses.
What places online should you be looking to assure your IP and reputation aren't being sullied?
Forbes recently did a piece about trademark misuse and how companies are handling it today. The popular video game Minecraft recently found out that someone had sold bogus tickets to a fake convention offering special events for the game's extensive fanbase. Many people were fooled by this and bought tickets that were never refunded. It was a problem that Minecraft could have thwarted had they kept a better eye online on how their trademarks were being abused.
Such fraud is evidence of the challenges facing companies trying to find and halt abuses around the world. Something as large as a bogus event can prove how your company may also have just as many trademark abuses online as in the real world.
Looking on Social Media
Your company may already have a presence on social media, and it can be a common place where your trademarks or even your copyrights are being infringed. Having a staff keeping an eye on hashtags that relate to your company or IP can help you scope out what people may be doing in posting something illegally or in smearing your company name. The real question is, how do you respond once you find out that your trademarks are being abused?
Actions to Take
Many companies are giving warnings to violators at first so those abusing the trademarks have ample time to stop what they're doing, given how expensive pursuing legal action in a infringement suit can be. Many times the legal bills will exceed any compensation a company ultimately gets, even if the point is solely to keep their brand reputation intact.
Considering the scope of the internet, will it end up being a wild goose chase for companies trying to protect their IP? Not if you take the proper steps to secure it before it's too late. Here at Traklight, we offer that security for you online through our secure IP Vault. We'll also help locate any IP you aren't aware of within your company, plus provide educative tools to help you deal with anything afterward.
Contact us so we can get you on the right path to protecting your intellectual property. While one part of a complicated picture for protecting IP, securing it will already lessen the potential of someone brazenly using it to infringe your trademarks and ruin your good company name.