Social Media Doesn’t Care About Trademarks

Far too many companies make the mistake of assuming that a legal trademark gives them the right to social media usernames with their trademarked name. Setting up a trademark will protect your brand from a variety of infringements, but in the world of social media it’s first come first serve.

Several large brands have been beat out when it comes to social media usernames. Kraft, Legos, and Jack Daniels were all too slow when it came time to register Twitter handles.

These brands were forced to use alternative Twitter names like @JackDaniels_US and @kraftfoods.

When another person or company owns your brand’s name as a social media username they can’t pretend to be you or sell your products as you. This type of behavior would be considered illegal.

If your company’s trademarked name is already registered there are a few things you can do.

  • Ask them for control of the username.
  • Buy it from the owner; however, most social media platforms discourage selling usernames.
  • Create a similar username.
  • File a trademark infringement suit. This can take a while and it’s an uphill battle.

Not controlling your trademarked name on social media leaves you vulnerable to reputation damage and confusion with customers. The best thing to do is act fast once you’ve trademarked your name. Even if you can’t get the exact name, start establishing your accounts as the official accounts everyone knows about.

It’s also a good idea to watch what’s happening with new social media platforms and register your trademarked name. Even if you don’t plan on using the platform anytime soon, owning the name will keep your brand protected.

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