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Navigating Social Media Legal Risks: Safeguarding Your Business by Robert McHale

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8. Trademark Protections from Brandjacking and Cybersquatting in Social Networks

A company’s most valuable commercial asset is often its brand. Further, a brand’s ability to communicate directly with its customers is crucial in today’s social business climate. Controlling your business’s social network usernames, handles and domain names is therefore critical. After all, you do not want your company’s image (or message) to be hijacked by spammers, brandjackers, cybersquatters, impersonators, or competitors.

Generally speaking, “brandjacking” (a clever neologism combining the words “brand” and “hijacking”) is the action of acquiring or assuming the online identity of another for purposes of capturing that person’s or business’s brand equity. ...

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