Bullying is a very high profile issue in our world today. Typically, the term is associated with youth and the pressures they face just to fit in with their peers. The word “bully” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” The thing is, bullying is not only subject to the struggles of the youth. It is a state of being that can be seen in different facets of society, including the corporate world - particularly when it comes to intellectual property. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark bully as “a trademark owner that uses its trademark rights to harass and intimidate another business beyond what the law might be reasonably interpreted to allow.” 
In today’s online world filled with 2.4 billion anonymous internet users and over 634 million websites protecting your Copyrights and Trademarks has become extremely vital while also becoming increasingly difficult. Whether you are a retail company, a pharmaceutical producer, a banking or insurance institution you need to protect your Intellectual property online or your brand along with your customers will be subject to Phishing/Malware scams, fake/copy websites, and possibly impersonation profiles on Facebook and Twitter.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2012 are done, but the holidays are still upon us. Is your current monitoring platform enough?
Do you monitor your brand on Social Media? If you do then you have taken a big step in protecting your brand online, but social media monitoring is only one slice of the brand protection pie. Scammers employ various methods in an attempt to divert, confuse and steal from your customers, which, if left unattended tarnishes your brand’s reputation.
Spoofs, make-up tutorials, hilarious practical jokes, embarrassing blunders, cathartic double rainbows, I could go on and on. As a society of voyeurs we are all suckers for these things and YouTube has allowed us to enjoy them from the comfort of our home or desk at the office. To say that YouTube is loved by many is a slight understatement. According to YouTube’s statistics page, the site welcomes 800 million unique user visits on a monthly basis with 4 billion hours of video watched every month. Even with the love and admiration many have for YouTube it has been a sore spot at times for IP owners, particularly in the area of copyright.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? I remember as a kid I was always fascinated by the free toy I could receive in my “Fruit Loops” cereal box. Today, free merchandise is far more complicated. Social media marketing has become a staple for many businesses. With the rise of new social media marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and most recently, Pinterest, we have seen a rise in newly targeted internet threats. We’ve already seen the “freebee scams” on Facebook and we all knew it wouldn’t take long for Pinterest users to fall victim to these scams. Pinterest is skyrocketing, with approximately 13 million users experts say that it is driving more traffic to retail sites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined.
There have been a large number of posts claiming Pinterest is encouraging its users to share copyrighted material, it’s a safe harbor for trademark violations and brand abuse. Many are going as far as to cry that Pinterest is the devil and is setting up their users to take the blame. We recently blogged about these claims and mentioned just a few of the measures Pinterest is taking to cover their butts.
Most of my friends think I am some sort of social media guru, since I work for a social media monitoring company and I throw out a tweet here and there. Little do they know that the real social media gurus here at BP put me to shame – and it’s no surprise that they’re ten years younger than me. While I’m patting myself on the back because I can show my friends how to create a hyperlink or explain the difference between a @handle and a #hashtag, they are the ones who seem to know everything there is to know about what’s new in social media. But hey, if they want to go around thinking that I’m the authority on all things social…let them. I wouldn’t want to go bursting any bubbles of perfection. Let them think I know it all.