The Internet might have opened up a world of opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote their brand, but is has also made them vulnerable to a plethora of issues like defamation, cybersquatting, domain hijacking, hacking, and subsequent intellectual property theft.
This has left brands susceptible to numerous threats, making entrepreneurs reconsider the feasibility of doing online business.
Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your online brand, things that almost any defamation attorney should tell you. And although the creation of credible, easily searchable, and shareable content is the best defense for your brand, here’s some other ways in which you can protect your brand online.
Trademarking your brand is the highest level of protection you can offer it, it is also one of the first things you should do. Not only does it give you proprietary right to your brand, but it allows users to promote it as their own. Even the biggest companies in the world trademark their brands to protect their integrity and prove ownership.
A good Trademark lawyer can help you register your trademark.
2. Domain Branding
Under ideal circumstances, your domain name should be the same as your brand name, but with millions of domains already in existence, your domain name might already be taken. The only solution would be to use a different brand to project online, meaning that you will lose all of your existing brand awareness.
But when you cannot make your brand name the same your domain, the least you can do is include it in your domain. So make sure you buy out all the relevant domains names in the .com, .co.uk, .eu, .info, .org, and .biz domains.
This will allow you to prevent cybersquatting, which is when another person takes up one of the domains with your name and uses it for commercial or private purposes.
3. Identify Your Brand
The best way to avoid defamation of your online brand is to make sure that every one of your site’s pages are watermarked or embossed with your brand name or company logo, including any kind of videos, images, and other downloadable documents.
This will ensure that even if someone else uses your content, you will have full ownership over it, allowing you to sue for theft.
4. Optimize Your Brand
Another great way to protect your online brand is to ensure maximum exposure online by way of SEO. This not only allows you to increase brand awareness, but will help increase its positive outlook as well.
Optimize your brand name by using it multiple times in your content, but remember not to overstuff it as search engines like Google will penalize you for it.
5. Protect Your Copyright
Put a clear and concise copyright notice on all of your website’s pages. This will allow you to protect your brand from theft and defamation by allowing you to find out if anyone has taken even so much as a phrase from your content without your permission. In such cases you can get a lawyer to send the copycat content-removal instructions.
Mollaei Law is a law firm specializing in business law serving businesses and entrepreneurs. We provide legal expertise in all stages of business development by drafting and reviewing contracts and agreements, assisting transactions and negotiating, forming LLC's and Corporations, registering trademarks and copyrights, business planning, and answering any legal questions you may have about your business.
Sam Mollaei, Esq., business lawyer, can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone (818) 925-0002.