Social Media, Intellectual Property and Protecting your Ass…ets!

Social media is in the course of many issues we do lately. Thus, mental property legislation will get pulled proper in and failure to take fundamental steps to guard your belongings might be detrimental to your mental property rights(1). This text focuses on three well-known mental property sorts, their interplay with social media, and identifies some finest practices each enterprise ought to take to function in social media with out creating pointless mental property dangers.


Copyrights come up from unique works of authorship as soon as they’re mounted in a tangible medium of expression. Widespread works are expressed as written textual content like emails, social media websites and social posts, 2-D and 3-D paintings stay and on-line, streaming music, podcasts, and all these in digital to hardcopy codecs and the whole lot in between.

Finest practices for copyrights in social media are:

  1. Have permission to make use of different’s work. Simply since you discovered it on the web not often means it’s free so that you can use. Higher but, to finest keep away from infringing on different’s work, hyperlink to their work, don’t make a replica on your web site, and give credit score to the proprietor.

  2. Use takedown notices to forestall infringement of your rights in social media. Nevertheless, pay attention to truthful use rights, for you and others, earlier than routinely demanding a takedown of the work.

  3. Know the use insurance policies for the social media platforms you utilize. Typically, mere use of the platform binds you to the phrases of that platform. This may grant the platform, and its customers, a proper to make use of your work free of charge on that platform(2), and generally elsewhere(3), yikes!


Logos are any indicia affixed to items, whereas service marks are any indicia used to promote or promote companies, and each identify the supply of the products/companies. It’s the goodwill and product/service expectation related to a mark that brings worth to its proprietor.

Finest practices to be used of marks in social media are:

  1. Monitor using your mark and ensure others should not so shut they’re “confusingly similar” to trigger you to be confused with you competitor. If somebody is simply too shut, a warning letter must be despatched or you may lose your mark by diluting it with different’s use

  2.  Keep away from misusing your mark by correctly utilizing the mark as an adjective and not a noun. KLEENEX will not be the generic identify for these white gentle versatile sheets you sneeze into, facial tissue is. So, it’s, “pass me a KLEENEX facial tissue, please.”

  3. There’s “fair use” of one other’s mark, however it’s a slender exception, and you need to be cautious of utilizing one other’s mark (and vice versa) when a industrial function is concerned.

Commerce Secrets and techniques

Final, and actually not least, are commerce secrets and techniques. A commerce secret is any data not usually identified to the general public (i.e., it doesn’t must be distinctive data, however the truth your firm is aware of it isn’t usually identified to others) that provides financial profit to its proprietor and the proprietor takes affordable efforts to take care of its secrecy (i.e., it have to be at the very least confidential data). Typical forms of commerce secrets and techniques are buyer lists, ingredient lists, lists of procedures to carry out companies or make items, machine working directions, and aggressive intelligence.

Finest practices for commerce secrets and techniques in social media are:

  1. Have clear inside insurance policies for what staff can and can’t submit in social media as pertains to work data, and guarantee they know and perceive the insurance policies.

  2. Assist staff know what commerce secrets and techniques they encounter of their work(4) in addition to the sensitivity and confidentiality of this data.

  3. Management entry to commerce secrets and techniques to these staff (and licensed third events) who’ve a must realize it and guarantee they observe use restrictions for the knowledge.

The little issues matter. Common, small reminders by way of quick movies go an extended approach to educating staff when they’re browsing social media. Allow your staff to do the appropriate factor.

(1) Intellectual property (IP) is a bunch of authorized rights that present safety over data and issues individuals create or invent, typically involving the human thoughts. The important thing forms of IP, outlined by the US Structure, Federal, and State legislation, are: Copyright, Commerce/Service Mark, Commerce Secret and Patent.

(2) See Instagram Terms of Use.

(3) See Facebook Terms of Use.

(4) Every particular person must know what’s a commerce secret, usually, not its particulars until that’s a part of their job.

Source link