What is real
is not external form.”
The social media component is today necessary in developing and promoting a business marketing strategy. The presence on these channels gradually leads to increasing the popularity of the respective businesses among as many people as possible. And this can serve not only in terms of sales, but also to protect your brand if the situation requires. It may sound a bit bizarre, but there are cases where the appeal to social media presence has been a decisive factor in protecting a brand.
Let’s say at some point you register a trademark for your products. With time, the respective brand becomes defining for that kind of product in a country. At a certain moment, a concurrent business wants to register a brand similar with yours, fact which may create confusion among the consumer audience. Undoubtedly, you will file an opposition. How can social media presence help in such a case?
Let’s see a specific example for the sake of the argument. In 2008, the trademark BEATS By Dr. Dre, selling audio headphones, was registered in the US. Since 2009, it has entered the Australian market where it began to market, speakers as well, as of 2012, under the BEATS brand. In 2014, another local business, filed an ATOMIC BEATS trademark application under which they also wanted to sell speakers. Of course, the BEATS brand owner opposed the trademark registration, on the grounds that the likeness between the two would generate confusion and that it would affect the already existing BEATS brand reputation. To be successful in this endeavor, they were required to demonstrate the existence of that reputation. And here is where the social media becomes relevant. The company that owns the BEATS brand did not want to make sales figures available and turned to campaigns and content posted on social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. Due to the social media age in which we live, the court considered this kind of evidence to be legitimate, and it took into account the figures (Likes, Share etc) found on these platforms as a relevant indicator for the brand’s reputation. And, as these figures were substantial, it was decided in favor of the BEATS brand owning company. This decision is an example that social media can a huge impact in intellectual property disputes.
In conclusion, if your business is not present in social media it is time to become so/make its appeareance. As soon as possible.
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