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SES: Ways SEMs Can Protect Intellectual Property

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Trademark and copyright issues are complicated. That’s why we have lawyers. Luckily, we also have lawyers willing to drop by the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose to shine a little light on the issue.

SES: Ways SEMs Can Protect Intellectual Property
SES: Ways SEMs Can Protect Intellectual Property

(Our on-scene WebProNews staff has passed along this latest news from SES San Jose 2007. If you can’t be there, you need to be here with WebProNews this week, for videos and reports.)

Deborah Wilcox, a partner with the Baker Hostetler law firm – which represents names like ABC, Boeing, EDS, Ford, Major League Baseball, and Sprint Nextel – presented "What SEMs Should Know" about copyright and trademark issues.

Here’s a bulleted list what Ms. Wilcox had to say, gleaned from her PowerPoint presentation:

Grab an intellectual property lawyer when:

1.    A trademark or copyright problem first emerges
2.    The problem persists
3.    The problem becomes severe

When gathering evidence:

1.    Identify offending parties, which can include competitors and their officers, other distributors, et cetera(she includes search engines, but that debate is still ongoing)
2.    Be sure you actually own your marks and copyrights, and be sure they are registered
3.    Take screen shots of infringing material (on the Internet, things can be deleted)
4.    Specify damage infringement has caused

Your options for legal action include:

1.    Cease and desist letters
2.    Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)
3.    Lawsuit
4.    Request for emergency relief via temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction

Ms. Wilcox, as you might guess, also recommends you contact Baker Hostetler for more information. 

SES: Ways SEMs Can Protect Intellectual Property
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