Identity theft is a crime in which a third party makes unauthorized use of the brand name without the consent of the owner. A legal owner of the brand can take various legal recourses in such a situation. The blog discusses all the legal recourses available when identity theft of a brand name happens. There are also certain preventive measures on how to protect the brand name in case of identity theft. Some of them are:
1) Trademark Registration
In the case of identity theft, there is no better protection than that which is offered by the trademark when it comes to products. It is a time taking process to get the trademark registered, but once it is done, infringement of any kind would be dealt with severely.
Trademark is popularly referred to as Brand Name. However, legally it is termed Trademark. It refers to any Mark, symbol, words, logo, shape, or letter that defines the service or product. An exclusive logo or name which holds the market and through which one can differentiate from the other products in the industry is a trademark. To protect one’s trademark, he should get it registered under the Trademark Act. Once the application number for registration of the trademark is given, one could start using the symbol to make people aware of his brand name.
This makes the product unique, and this is the importance of a trademark. Registration of a trademark in India is necessary to make the goodwill of the company or brand. Trademark, along with itself, holds the goodwill of the brand name, and this trademark works as an identification mark that shows the unique innovation of the product or goods, and this is the importance of a trademark.
2) Community management and verified social accounts
Being active on social media grabs the attention of the general public, and this community management initiative can help the customers to maintain trust. This will also combat fraudsters. It is also important to have a unique social media account so that people can recognize the brand name. Sometimes, fraudsters make a fake account of the brand name. Therefore, it becomes important to have a verified account on social media.
The account must be used as a medium for communication with the customers and to help them with their queries and complaints across various platforms. This helps in maintaining good relationships between the customers and the brand owner. This helps in coming in direct contact with the customers. To get the account verified, it is important to have a large number of followers and content must be posted on a daily basis.
3) Define and use your logo consistently
Having a unique logo and using it consistently helps one to protect their brand name. In order to connect with the customers, it is important to have a meaningful and purposeful logo, even if it is simple. For example, the logo of the brand Apple. No one will ever forget the logo of Apple.
The logo gives a huge visual impact and therefore, a person cannot change the logo often. It becomes important to have a unique logo. When the customers of the brand do not exactly know what the logo looks like, it becomes more vulnerable to fraud. If the brand owner has more than one version of the same logo, it becomes important to define each logo. However, the brand owner must stick to one logo if possible.
The brand owner must also try to use the logo in everything to advertise the brand name. The use of a logo on social media, stationery, and everywhere possibly helps the brand owner in marketing the product and in protecting the product from identity theft. It becomes relevant to advertise the brand name.
4) React immediately to brand name infringement
After creating a unique brand name, it is important to get it registered as it makes it easier to deal in cases of infringement. If the identity theft has happened, one must try to figure out from which country or state that person belongs, and through a lawyer, the brand owner must send the Cease and Desist order. If the fraudster does not respond to these orders, legal recourse must be taken against the fraudster. Reacting immediately helps in protecting the brand name from identity theft.
5) Build a strong brand presence
A strong presence of the brand helps the brand owner to protect its brand against imposters. If the customers are well aware of the name of the brand, it becomes difficult for the fraudsters to commit identity theft. For example, there are hardly any scammers that would sell a burger under the trade name ‘McDonald’s’ as most people know the experience to connect with these products. It will become harder to imitate if a brand has a huge customer base. Also, being in constant touch with the consumers protects the brand from identity theft.
To protect the brand from identity theft, there are various precautionary measures that are listed above. One of the prominent precautions is to make a unique trademark and get it registered. This is how to protect the brand name in case of identity theft. Registration of a trademark in India can help the brand owner legally protect the brand name.
Therefore, it becomes important to get the trademark registered. Registration of a trademark in India is a time taking process, and the brand owner must consult an expert to get the brand registered. Apart from saving time, it smoothens the process of registration.