Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Protecting your trademark on social media

Posted by ipelton on: June 30th, 2015

A few basic tips for protecting trademarks on social media platforms:

  • Register your trademark(s) with the USPTO.
  • Sign up for usernames on all the major social media platforms that correspond with your main trademarks, even if you have no intention of using them. If you control those usernames, no one else can.
  • Take action when appropriate – if a username or posting is misrepresenting your trademark and misleading customers in a commercial manner, file a complaint with the social media network (they all have their own process/forms), and if needed contact an attorney.
  • Use the proper trademark symbols, including the ®, where appropriate to indicate your trademark is registered.

In essence, protecting trademarks on social media isn’t really any different from protecting them anywhere else: encourage proper use by others that points back to your business, and take steps to protect improper use that could harm your  brand.

USPTO trademark filings can often provide a window into the business plans of companies and competitors.

Drones and unmanned aerial vehicles are popular subjects for trademark filings in 2014 to date. Amazon made news last last year with its drone plans.

I have no idea how social media and drones could intersect.  But apparently both Facebook and Twitter believe that they could.

Twitter recently filed a trademark application for DRONIE covering many goods and services, including “Vehicles; unmanned vehicles.” See Serial No. 86316533, filed on June 20th.

Just five days later, Facebook filed a trademark application for FACEBOOK covering “Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)“. See Serial No. 86311282.

Where do you see drones and social media intersecting?



Ten great trademark Twitter accounts

Posted by ipelton on: November 29th, 2013

Twitter’s IPO was launched this month. To read about how a Twitter (a few years ago) could be worth billions of dollars and mismanage its trademarks, see my blog post 5 years of Twitter: A case of mismanaged trademarks.

If you use Twitter, here are some great people to follow for trademark knowledge and fun:











… and of course, yours truly @tm4smallbiz


1,000 interesting trademark tweets

Posted by ipelton on: November 11th, 2013

Over the course of the last few years, I have tweeted more than 1,000 interesting #trademarks at @tm4smallbiz.

Interesting #trademarks are everywhere — great logos, fun puns, brands in the news, trademark applications related to recent pop culture happenings, and more.

I invite you to follow me at @tm4smallbiz, and let me know when you find an interesting #trademark.

Some recent examples of my tweets:







When considering new names for a business, or for new  products or services – or even when filing to protect a existing name – it is always a good idea to review your domain names first.

Once an application is filed with the USPTO, the information is publicly available. Someone, or some computer crawler, may find the new brand name within a matter of hours or days and register any corresponding domain names. They do this because you may want the domain names in the future. And it may be easier to pay them rather than to fight them. Or it may be difficult to challenge their ownership of the domain name(s) if they are not really in use. And if even if do not use the domain names, you won’t have to worry about the risk of someone else using them.

You should register the domains first – before filing with the USPTO – to block them (at least the .com’s but maybe others too). Even if you are unlikely to ever want to use the domain names, the cost of registering them – a few dollars a year – far outweighs the costs of buying them from someone else, filing a dispute against someone else, or losing web traffic to someone else.

Bonus Tip: if applicable, also register the corresponding social media usernames for Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. if only to make sure that no one else uses them.