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Domain names, social media and online brand identity

Often treated as an intellectual property right, domain names have created unique challenges and opportunities for brands and mark owners since well before the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) was enacted in 1999. In addition to traditional domain name cybersquatting issues, our clients must now address mark infringement and other unauthorized activities relating to social media accounts, user handles and other online challenges to brand reputation and trademark rights.

Our related services include:

Reservation and establishment of brand presence: We assist clients in reserving, using and enforcing their brand and related trademarks and service marks in a domain name and social media context, including analyzing unauthorized uses and potential conflicts.

Domain name acquisition and portfolio management: We assist with purchase offers and negotiations and maintenance strategies, and have direct involvement in the domain registration transfer process.

Domain name infringement resolution: We provide representation in Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings, litigation of Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) claims and litigation of trademark infringement claims in domain name context.

Generic top level domains (gTLDs): As the Internet rapidly expands beyond the familiar .com, .org and .edu top level domain names, we help businesses protect their trade and service marks by creating strategies and processes for addressing the roll out of new gTLDs, and developing protection plans that guide businesses’ efforts to grow and safeguard their valuable brands.

Social media and blog content: We advise clients regarding legal concerns with authorized or unauthorized use of social media by company personnel in promotion company products and related issues of deceptive advertising, the FTC's Endorsement Guides, risks to the value of trade secrets or sensitive information and related concerns.

Employment policy creation and enforcement: We assist clients in the development and enforcement of social media policies to protect their business interests consistent with employee legal rights.

Sweepstakes and contests: We assist clients in administering legally-compliant contests, sweepstakes and promotions through, or otherwise using, social media services and business social media presence.

User-generated content and interactive media: We assist clients in identifying and avoiding risks presented by websites inviting user-generated content and interaction, including strategies for addressing unfavorable commentary, and the requirements and protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and related user terms and agreements.

Copyright: We assist clients in protecting and enforcing their copyright interests and in avoiding and addressing infringement and damage claims by third party copyright holders, such as stock photo companies or performance rights organizations.

Regulated communication and privacy concerns: We advise clients regarding the legal issues surrounding promotional communications, including issues presented by the Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, Junk Fax Laws, Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, the FTC's Endorsement Guides, and the various state and federal laws addressing the collecting, storage and distribution of personal information.