Friday, May 24, 2013

what to do if someone steals your logo online

Imagine opening your email in the morning to find two messages—one from a designer in Denmark and another from South Africa—and both friends have inadvertently similar warnings for you: They’ve each just seen your logo—or one that’s unmistakably similar to yours.

Whether an unauthorized reproduction of your brand’s identity is spotted in two continents on one day, or a child from a village in Kenya is wearing your local balloon company’s logo embroidered on his shorts, you should understand the importance of protecting your business or product name with a trademark.

You've likely invested time and money to generate an identity for your brand and to trademark it, but the reality is, no one is going to protect it for you. You are required to police the use of your trademark and that means being proactive and on the lookout for rip-offs of your logo online.

This might sound like an impossible task so we’re going to provide you with a few tips to help you protect your brand in a digital world.

Finding Infringing Trademarks Online

Graphic designer Jeff Fisher of LogoMotives is a model of vigilance. And, he’s very open about publicly sharing appropriations of his design work in a gallery he dubs “Rip-offs and Unauthorized Usage.” Continually updated, the Facebook album contains some 150 photos and stories. The detailed examples illustrate his process to protect his designs and clients and are an invaluable resource where others can learn how to protect their brand.

So, how does Fisher discover infringing content on the web?

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Subscribe to Neighborhood Notes' small business education center, Local U, to read the rest of this article, and once you're a member, you can read up on the rest of NN's trademark resources.