Do your research and be creative when you are ready to launch your brand. Don’t try to ride on existing traffic, influence and people who are using generic concepts. Lawsuits are rampant and it shows a lack of integrity, ingenuity and true social entrepreneurship to try and sue an individual or business for using a term that is owned by the public… Especially when it’s obvious that people were using that term long before you decided to jump into the world of business. It makes you look inexperienced and desperate. I would not trust my business to a company that does that, would you?
We all know that many of the terms we use on a daily basis came from a company, organization or brand who originally
sought to own their products, formulas and intellectual properties. Many companies have tried to limit the use of their trademarked terms, and some people have even tried to get those companies to release their trademarks.
But what about a company trying to trademark and enforce infringement rights after a term is already popular? This is something that may have gone unnoticed in previous years before the advent of the Internet and SoMedia (Social Media). But now, you can see the origin of information and intellectual property. Many companies like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have tried to crack down on the use of pictures and page names to protect their high profile clients, and themselves from getting caught in the cross fire. Most somedia savvy brands have recognized that their logos will be reposted and their brand names will be used and they are okay with allowing users to promote their information as long as they follow guidelines and it is for good and not for commercial use or misleading purposes.
What are your thoughts on the trademarking of Internet terms, concepts and ideas. We have new startups who have come up with all sorts of funny names to distinguish themselves and to have clear copyrights. Some examples are XeeMe (who could have tried to trademark social or somedia), Instagram (who could have added picture or pic or graffic in their name), Pinterest (who could have used board or a stand alone version of the word pin), and of course Twitter (who could have used post, text or some other common phrase).
Should we be able to trademark terms such as tweet, blog, retweet, followback, inbox, somedia, IT, cloud, etc.?