Trademark Infringement on Social Media: What to Do

Facebook
The easiest and fastest way to file a report of a trademark infringement is through its online form. You will need to supply the following information, as listed by Facebook’s Help Center:

  • Complete contact information (full name, mailing address and phone number)
  • The specific word, symbol, etc. in which you claim trademark rights
  • The basis for your claim of trademark rights (such as a national or community registration), including registration number, if applicable
  • The country or jurisdiction in which you claim trademark rights
  • The category of goods and/or services for which you assert rights
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit Facebook to locate the material on Facebook that you believe violates your trademark rights. (Provide the web URL that leads directly to the infringing content.)
  • A description of how you believe the content infringes your trademark
  • If you are not the rights owner, an explanation of your relationship to the rights owner
  • A declaration that you have a good faith belief that use of the trademark described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the trademark owner, its agent, or the law; that the information in your notice is accurate; and under penalty of perjury, you are the owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of a trademark that is allegedly infringed
  • Your electronic signature or physical signature

Facebook advises you to first contact the party you suspect of trademark infringement directly about your concerns. If you want to pursue an in-depth investigation, Facebook says to consider court or judicial means. It’s also important to note that the contact information you provide in your report to Facebook will be shared with the party about whom you are filing the report, so they may use it to contact you.

After you submit your report online, Facebook says you will receive an automated email containing your report number, which you should save for your records. If Facebook determines that more information is needed in order to complete the report, you will be contacted via email by someone from Facebook, so you should diligently keep an eye on your inbox.

Brand Violation Policies
Facebook’s Advertising Policies states that third-party infringement is prohibited. Specifically, the policies state:

“Ads must not contain content that infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights.”

Additionally, Facebook’s Statement of Rights also prohibits using the platform to share content that “infringes or violates someone else’s rights.”

Instagram
Instagram’s process for filing a report of a trademark infringement is the same as Facebook’s. The main difference is the link to the online form.

Just as you would with Facebook, first contact the party you suspect of trademark infringement directly about your concerns. If you want to pursue the incident further, you will need to turn to court or judicial means outside of Instagram’s process. Just as Facebook would, Instagram will share your contact information provided in the report with the party suspected of infringement.

Once you submit the online report, Instagram will send you an automated email response to confirm that it was received. That email will contain a report number that you should save for your records. You should keep an eye on your email afterwords in case Instagram asks for more information regarding your report.

Brand Violation Policies
Instagram’s Platform Policy clearly states under its General Terms:

“Don’t provide or promote content that violates any rights of any person, including but not limited to intellectual property rights, rights of privacy, or rights of personality.”

Additionally, in its Terms of Use, Instagram says it may terminate an account if it infringes upon another user’s rights, which includes intellectual property.

Snapchat
To report trademark infringement to Snapchat, specify the trademark concern. There are three types to choose from:

Once you select your specific concern, you will be directed to a contact form where you will need to fill in the required information fields. Information you will need to supply includes your full name, email address, full name of the rights holder, the type of content you are reporting, details about the trademark, the trademark registration number, the trademark jurisdiction, trademark verification, an example of genuine goods, a link to the trademark infringement, the location of the infringement content (e.g. Story title, username, or Snap ID), and a description of the infringing content.

You may also upload any documentation that you believe might help in the investigation, such as the image of the original content that was violated.

Brand Violation Policies
Snapchat states in its Community Guidelines under Impersonation & Spam:
“Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not — this includes your friends, celebrities, brands, or other organizations — or attempt to deceive people about who you are.”

You can use Wotra monitoring service to protect your trademarks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media platforms. On the begining of new year we plans to add Snapchat monitoring service.

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