It is safe to say that most, if not all, potential customers utilize the Internet during their shopping process. This includes locating businesses, their products/services and customer reviews on the Internet after watching, hearing or viewing targeted advertisements.
In targeting potential customers, today’s modern businesses have invested heavily in their individual websites and virtual billboard advertisements such as pay-per-click and banner advertisements. Today’s businesses have also used Internet-based communications such as e-mails, instant messaging and Tweets™ to advertise their products and services, and have paid particular attention to the way Internet users locate the products/services in which they are interested.
With today’s new marketing opportunities come new risks as the changing law adapts to the evolving use of technology for commercial transactions. This article is intended as an overview of the many legal marketing issues the Internet raises for the modern business, and identifies new areas of law that Business Wealth Lawyer can provide advice and counseling.
Advertisement in the New and Evolving Media
As a modern business, you are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in your print, radio, television and online advertisements. Additionally, your investment in advertising naturally has developed your “branded” identity. As a result, all forms of your advertisements, website content and brands are your intellectual property, and they can be protected by obtaining federal copyright and trademark registrations. Not only do such Intellectual Property registrations add value to your business’ net worth, but they also can prevent, or quickly resolve, unfair and deceptive practices by a competing dealership that utilizes your copyrighted ad content or trademarks to compete against you. If you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in television, radio, Internet or print advertisements, a Business Wealth Lawyer can assist you in securing your intellectual property rights in order to add value to your business’ net worth and deter your competitors from unlawfully using it to compete against you.
As a modern business, you are also targeting your potential customers by using the same search engines those potential customers use to find information about their desired products/services and your business on the Internet. Internet search engines, such as Google®, bing™ and Yahoo!®, assist vehicle buyers in locating specific websites that have information about their desired products and services by displaying a list of sites that contain search terms or “keywords” entered by the potential customer. The order in which the listed websites appear takes on particular importance in light of the view that only the top few sites on the first page of the search results will be visited by potential customer. As a result, today’s modern businesses are utilizing online search marketing techniques that focus on increasing the likelihood that their specific websites will appear near the top of generated search results.
Used properly, online search marketing techniques can directly increase the number of visitors to, and sales by, your business. However, when these techniques are used improperly, they can cause your business to lose sales or impose liability upon it. This occurs when a business or competitor, utilizes another trademark, slogan or “catch phrase” as a keyword in its online search marketing techniques. Such unclean online search marketing techniques can result in liability for trademark and copyright infringement, unfair and deceptive business practices, fraudulent misrepresentation and intentional interference with contractual and business relations.
This unlawful activity typically happens in pay-per-click advertisements where one of your competitors pays Google® a fee each time their ad is displayed as a search result when the potential customer was searching for your business. If you believe that you are a victim of this type of activity, or similar unfair and deceptive practice, a Business Wealth Lawyer can assist you in stopping it and address the damages that you suffered as a result of such unlawful activity.
IF YOUR BUSINESS IS FACING ANY OF THE ABOVE IDENTIFIED LEGAL ISSUES, OR IF YOUR BUSINESS DESIRES TO BE PROACTIVE AND IMPLEMENT STEPS TO AVOID AND/OR MINIMIZE FUTURE RISKS, PLEASE CONTACT A BUSINESS WEALTH LAWYER.
Call our office today to schedule an Online Assessment of your business, and if you mention this article by name, we will waive our customary initial consultation fee. Be sure to use this opportunity to ensure that you are receiving the maximum benefit of your online advertisements. Call (919) 468-3266 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on this topic as well as other related topics, please visit www.IshmanLaw.com and www.IshmanLegal.com.