IP Protection in Social Media

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IP Protection in Social Media

  1. 1. PROTECTING YOUR BRAND AND PATENTABLE INVENTIONS<br />Presented by:<br />Clark A. D. Wilson <br />Gardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva PC<br />Patent & Trademark Attorney<br />LinkedIn.com/in/clarkadwilson<br />Social Media Law<br />Atlanta, Georgia USA<br />18 May 2011<br />© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  2. 2. MY SOCIAL MEDIA IP MOTTO<br />Social Media is constantly changing and loosely regulated. <br />So, be proactive and not reactive.<br />© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  3. 3. AGENDA<br /><ul><li>Enforcement mechanisms
  4. 4. How to proactively protect your brands
  5. 5. How to proactively protect your patentable ideas </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  6. 6. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS<br />Somewhat limited to enforcement of Brands (TM)<br /><ul><li>Patents discussed further</li></ul>Traditional Route<br /><ul><li>The Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1114
  7. 7. Infringement can be enforced in Federal Court
  8. 8. Expensive, Slow and Uncertain</li></ul>New Route<br /><ul><li>The Internal Mechanisms provided by the website
  9. 9. Fast, Cheap and Potentially Definitive</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  10. 10. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Website Enforcement Mechanisms<br /><ul><li>Key: Social media websites are owned/operated by private companies and enforcement is handled by the owners, not the government or court system
  11. 11. Benefits: Since social media is a business, the owner has an interest in keeping its users (customers) happy. Therefore, the owners have an incentive to resolve any issue quickly and accurately.</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  12. 12. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Statement of User Rights and Responsibilities<br /><ul><li>Do not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law.
  13. 13. They can remove any content or information you post on Facebook if it violates this Statement.
  14. 14. They will provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights. </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  15. 15. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />How to Report a Claim of Non-Copyright IP Infringement?<br /><ul><li>To report claims of non-copyright IP infringement by a Facebook user, fill out the automated IP infringement form.
  16. 16. They will review your report as quickly as they can.
  17. 17. If everything is accurate, they will remove or disable access to the infringing content.
  18. 18. They will also notify the infringing user and, if requested, provide your report to the user.
  19. 19. Facebook will terminate repeat infringers when appropriate.</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  20. 20. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />As a condition to access LinkedIn, users agree to the User Agreement and to strictly observe the “DOs and DON’Ts:”<br /><ul><li>Do undertake the following:
  21. 21. Comply with all applicable laws, including, without limitation, … intellectual property laws… </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  22. 22. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />How to Report a Claim of Non-Copyright IP Infringement?<br /><ul><li>To notify LinkedIn that you believe that content posted by a User on Linkedin infringes your non-copyright IP rights you may complete the Notice of Content and Intellectual Property Violations form and submit it to LinkedIn’s Content Complaint Manager via email or mail as specified below.
  23. 23. abuse@linkedin.com
  24. 24. LinkedIn Corporation</li></ul>ATTN: Content Complaint Manager<br />2029 Stierlin Court<br />Mountain View, CA 94043<br />© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  25. 25. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Someone Incorrectly Accused Me of IP infringement!<br /><ul><li>If you believe a Notice Of Content and Intellectual Property Violations was submitted in error, or if you contest the removal of the allegedly infringing, you may complete a Counter-Notice Regarding Claim of Content and Intellectual Property Violations form and submit it to LinkedIn’s Content Complaint Manager by either email or mail. </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  26. 26. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter<br /><ul><li>Trademark: Twitter reserves the right to reclaim user names on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those user names. Accounts using business names and/or logos to mislead others will be permanently suspended.</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  27. 27. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Reporting a Trademark Policy Violation?<br /><ul><li>Holders of registered trademarks can report possible trademark policy violations to Twitter's Policy Team by submitting a ticket request
  28. 28. Requested Action can include: removal of violating account or transfer of trademarked username to an existing company account.
  29. 29. Note: A federal or international trademark registration number is required for reporting. </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  30. 30. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />Twitter’s Response to Your Reported Trademark Policy Violations?<br /><ul><li>Twitter reviews the infringing account and may take the following actions:
  31. 31. When there is a clear intent to mislead others through the unauthorized use of a trademark, Twitter will suspend the account and notify the account holder.
  32. 32. When Twitter determines that an account appears to be confusing users, but is not purposefully passing itself off as the trademarked good or service, they give the account holder an opportunity to clear up any potential confusion.
  33. 33. Twitter may also release a username for the trademark holder's active use.</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  34. 34. ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS, CONT’D…<br />How Can I Make My Own Account's Brand Clear to Others?<br /><ul><li>Complete Twitter's account settings:
  35. 35. Your location (physical and online address)
  36. 36. Describe your brand or business in the bio</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  37. 37. PROACTIVE BRAND PROTECTION<br />How Should my Clients Proceed?<br /><ul><li>Clear and definite protocols and employee education
  38. 38. Craft a corporate social media policy for the employee handbook.
  39. 39. Continue to update this policy because the landscape is constantly changing and may require revision. </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  40. 40. PROACTIVE BRAND PROTECTION, CONT’D…<br />Terms of an Example IP Social Media Policy<br /><ul><li>Define the rules for using the company’s trademarks and logos
  41. 41. Educate employees on importance of brand protection
  42. 42. Require training before allowing an employee to use the trademark
  43. 43. How employees should react to third-party comments or IP violations
  44. 44. Disciplinary actions for violations of the Policy
  45. 45. Further training likely more effective than punishment</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  46. 46. PROACTIVE BRAND PROTECTION, CONT’D…<br />Terms of an Example IP Social Media Policy, cont’d<br /><ul><li>Craft a detailed procedure for dealing with third party violations
  47. 47. Origin determination
  48. 48. True or untrue?
  49. 49. Potential Damage from infringement
  50. 50. First actions taken (e.g., through website venue)
  51. 51. Appoint a contact person for social media questions
  52. 52. Encourage employees to seek out this person when issues arise</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  53. 53. PROACTIVE BRAND PROTECTION, CONT’D…<br />Terms of an Example IP Social Media Policy, cont’d<br /><ul><li>Are employees permitted to associate themselves with the company in their profiles? If yes, define the required conduct.
  54. 54. Provide examples of how employees should engage with third parties who comment on the company
  55. 55. Define who will communicate on the formal behalf of the company
  56. 56. Creates uniformity and consistency
  57. 57. Avoids unwanted corrections and/or corralling of actions</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  58. 58. PROACTIVE BRAND PROTECTION, CONT’D…<br />Further Brand Considerations<br /><ul><li>Early and continuous collaboration between marketing and legal
  59. 59. Specifically for major announcements
  60. 60. Not all situations require enforcement
  61. 61. Collaborate with a third-party trademark user
  62. 62. E.g., Coca-cola fan page
  63. 63. Designate someone or a team to regularly review the use or appearance of the corporate trademarks in social media.
  64. 64. Identifies any potential infringement
  65. 65. Monitors how the brand is trending</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  66. 66. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />How can I Avoid Losing the Patent Rights of a New Invention?<br /><ul><li>How do you lose patent rights for an invention?
  67. 67. Domestic USA rights:
  68. 68. Public disclosure of an invention more than 12 months prior to filing a patent application
  69. 69. International non-USA rights:
  70. 70. Public disclosure prior to filing a patent application
  71. 71. More severe than USA</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  72. 72. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />How can I Avoid Losing the Patent Rights of a New Invention, cont’d?<br /><ul><li>What if my invention is not yet finalized?
  73. 73. Inventions not protected with patent rights should be protected as trade secrets
  74. 74. Take measures to ensure that secrecy is kept
  75. 75. If secrecy is lost, must seek patent protection ASAP
  76. 76. Within 12 months from disclosure
  77. 77. International rights are lost
  78. 78. New Patent Reform Act of 2011 may provide incentive to seek patent protection early (i.e. First-to-File)</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  79. 79. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />Social Media Protocol for Patentable New Inventions<br /><ul><li>Restrict knowledge of new inventions to a trusted circle
  80. 80. Educate on the pitfalls of premature public disclosure
  81. 81. Incorporate a confidentiality agreement into employment
  82. 82. During and after employment
  83. 83. Outline results of any violation
  84. 84. Breach of contract, trade secret theft </li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  85. 85. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />Social Media Protocol for Patentable New Inventions<br /><ul><li>Establish multi-step procedure for development of new inventions
  86. 86. Incorporate patent counsel early in the development
  87. 87. File a patent application (provisional or non-provisional) as soon as design is finalized
  88. 88. Only AfterPatent Pending, develop a marketing release with the Social Media coordinator</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  89. 89. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />Social Media Protocol for Patentable New Inventions<br /><ul><li>The Social Media Coordinator must be vigilant
  90. 90. Early and continual education to all employees on importance of maintaining secrecy before patent pending
  91. 91. Explain punishment for violations
  92. 92. Regular monitoring of social media activity to ensure no unwanted public disclosures before patent pending
  93. 93. Notification of legal if accidental disclosure</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  94. 94. PROTECTION OF PATENABLE IDEAS<br />Prevention of Unwanted Trade Secret Disclosure<br /><ul><li>To ensure that no parties have unplanned access to corporate social media information, change the access “Settings”
  95. 95. Limit access to “Friends”
  96. 96. Limit updates to “Connections”</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  97. 97. SUMMARY<br />Brands<br /><ul><li>Be consistent and well-informed
  98. 98. Educate employees
  99. 99. Clearly outline a social media policy
  100. 100. Use the website dispute system if possible
  101. 101. Investigate each situation individually</li></ul>Patentable Inventions<br /><ul><li>Keep it quiet until a patent application is filed
  102. 102. Restrict access to the invention until appropriate
  103. 103. Educate all employees on importance of secrecy
  104. 104. Involve patent counsel early
  105. 105. Clearly outline a protocol for developing patentable inventions</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  106. 106. HELPFUL RESOURCES<br /><ul><li>Facebook Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement
  107. 107. https://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1
  108. 108. Linkedin Notice of Intellectual Property Violations
  109. 109. http://download.linkedin.com/corporate/legal/notice_of_content_and_intellectual_property_violations_en_US.pdf
  110. 110. Linkedin Counter-Notice Regarding Claim of Intellectual Property Violations form
  111. 111. http://download.linkedin.com/corporate/legal/counternotice_regarding_claim_of_content_and_intellectual_property_violations_en_US.pdf
  112. 112. Twitter Ticket Request Submission
  113. 113. http://support.twitter.com/forms/trademark</li></ul>© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  114. 114. QUESTIONS??<br />Clark A. D. Wilson<br />Patent & Trademark Attorney<br />cwilson@gardnergroff.com<br />770.984.2300 Ext. 873<br />www.GardnerGroff.com<br />LinkedIn.com/in/clarkadwilson<br />© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />
  115. 115. Thank You!!<br />Clark A. D. Wilson<br />Patent & Trademark Attorney<br />cwilson@gardnergroff.com<br />770.984.2300 Ext. 873<br />www.GardnerGroff.com<br />LinkedIn.com/in/clarkadwilson<br />© 2011 Gardner Groff, PC – All Rights Reserved<br />

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