Pursuing the usual enforcement techniques can be difficult on social media, particularly when the identity of the infringer is unclear or unknown. There are many methods that people use to infringe on trademarks online. One way is competitors on social media sites will change logos or brand names just slightly to pass them as their own. And will profit off of it. For example, people will create accounts that use another person’s image and pictures, but be almost like a catfish. The longer the pages go undetected, the more the person can profit from it with ads or even accepting endorsements. Cybersquatting is another area where trademark rights can be infringed on the web or social media. “Cybersquatting is the bad faith registration of famous brand names as internet domain names in order to force the rightful owners of the marks to pay for the right to engage in e-commerce under their own trademark.” Cybersquatters will use a variation of the trademark that is only slightly different to gain revenue from people who land on the wrong website. Citigroup versus Citygroup raised this very concern. The real trademark owner was able to show they had lost 100,000 in just click bait revenue. Other times, the harm may actually be inflicted on consumers where they are confused into online scams. Enforcing trademark rights on social media can be difficult because infringers are often unknown or disappear quickly. Leaving marginalized communities without a person to go after legally. In addition, damage to their brand may have already happened through instagram scam pages or fake websites looking for clickbait. While social media trademark policies may be a start to helping solve some trademark infringement, much of the task is left to the trademark holder themselves. Thus, it is imperative that one constantly searches their mark on google and social media platforms to ensure others are not infringing.
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