Branding: Protect your intellectual property online

Written by: Phillip Nones

Most marketers know the ropes when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. Large chunks of time are spent poring over branded materials to make sure that every trademark, copyright and patent is properly identified and presented.

It’s surprising how little of this kind of concern has migrated to the Internet. But most of the steps you take to protect your intellectual property offline should be applied online, as well.

To begin with, be sure to trademark your web domain name. Most people forget to do this, but it can lead to problems later if an unscrupulous competitor decides to “pawn off” something based on your domain name.

Always include a copyright notice on at least the first page of your website … and it’s not a bad idea to include this on every page. And, if you’re working with an outside copywriter, make sure to spell out contractually who retains those rights (you).

Above all, don’t believe all the talk that laws relating to the Internet are hard to pin down and enforce. Copyright rules in cyberspace are every bit as real as those in the offline world.


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