To tweet or not to tweet: advice on social media
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

To tweet or not to tweet: advice on social media

There is a big misconception about Twitter, said the company’s Global Brand Protection Manager, Jillian West, during yesterday’s In-house Practitioners Workshop.

“People hear Twitter and they think about their own trademarks and get angry,” said West. “But social media can be the victim too.”

While many trademark owners view sites such as Twitter and Facebook as threats, West said it is important that people remember there are policies in place to help, and outlined her company’s own strategies for tackling impersonators and infringers. For example, West managed to get Twitter Latina, Twitter Français, Teen Twitter and Twitter Korea all taken down without having to pursue legal action. “We always reach out directly first, and in almost all instances that works,” said West.

In the case of Teen Twitter, the site was set up by a well-meaning teenager who wanted to target his own demographic. It took a lot of back and forth and explanation of trademark and IP rights to get it taken down, but West said that it was well worth the effort. “We avoided the PR disaster of being viewed as a bully,” she said.

While Scott Augenbaum of the Federal Bureau of Investigation pointed out that social media can be a gateway to crimes such as identity theft, Adam Palmer of Symantec Corporation stressed that living in fear of social media sites is the wrong approach. “These are good systems that are being abused,” he said. But the scale of the abuse has many lawyers’ and in-house counsel trembling all the same. According to Palmer, there was US$308 billion lost to cybercrime last year, and more victims of cybercrime in 2011 than newborn babies.

Despite the numbers, Palmer said that banning social media is not the answer. For many brands it is not even an option, since platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are quickly becoming an integral marketing tool.

Karen Webb of Fenwick & West said there is a balance that can be achieved between social media platforms and brand owners. The key points are to have the proper policies in place, to be an “early adapter,” to utilize platform policies and to carefully consider when to potentially embrace or simply ignore infringement or impersonators. Staying on top of such issues can help brand owners to use social media to gain competitive advantage.

“The reality is that cybercriminals move at the speed of light, but we move at the speed of law,” said Palmer.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The former head of life sciences at Kramer Levin has joined Orrick, a firm that hopes to grow in the sector
Lionel Martin of August Debouzy and Kristof Neefs at Inteo share how they prevailed in a UPC Court of Appeal case surrounding access to documents
Counsel say ‘strange’ results have increased their reliance on subscription-based search platforms, but costs are not being shifted onto clients yet
The firm was among multiple winners at a record-breaking 2024 ceremony held in London on April 11
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The Americas research cycle has commenced. Do not miss this opportunity to nominate your work!
Increased and new patent fees could affect prosecution strategies for law firms and companies, according to sources
Five former Oblon lawyers felt that joining Merchant & Gould would help them offer the right prices to entice clients
The UK may not be a UPC member but its firms are still acting in proceedings, with Carpmaels among the most prominent
Naomi Pearce of Pearce IP shares how she is helping her firm become a life sciences leader and how generous policies have helped attract top talent
Gift this article