The following is a transcript of my video Influencers Need Trademark Protection Too.

On social media these days, much of the content and the news that I see relates to influencers. No doubt this is partly related to the fact that I have two teenage children, and by the fact that I’m teaching a law school class with younger law students, and that I’m online in forums talking about intellectual property and entertainment law issues. Influencers come up quite frequently in these worlds. The shocking thing that I’ve learned is that many of these influencers are not protecting their brands. Many are not talking steps to register their trademarks. This is astonishing because an influencer essentially is a brand. What they are monetizing, what they are gathering likes and clicks and shares for is personality and content and entertainment, but in the end, it’s all associated with their brand and with their name. And in order to successfully  monetize that, to profit off of it, they ought to be protecting their brand.

You see, they’re using their name and brand for endorsement services and entertainment services, not unlike an entertainer in Hollywood or a radio personality, or even an athlete. And I noted the Super Bowl how Tom Brady has dozens of trademark filings and Patrick Mahomes shockingly has none. Same thing with influencers: there are a few who have taken the proper steps to protect their brand, but there are many who have not. So if you’re on your way to becoming an influencer, I’m sure there’s a lot to think about. But don’t forget to think about protecting your brand. Because after all, if someone else was to take your name, your content, and profit from it, you would want as many tools as possible to make it as easy and quick and affordable as possible to deal with those situations, to take that content down. And registering trademarks is a prime way to do that.

If you have influence, and your brand is not yet protected, what are you waiting for?

 


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