Logos for Social Media Influencers

There isn’t a query that social media has created practically limitless alternatives for social media influencers and entrepreneurs to succeed in their purchasers exterior of conventional mass-media channels. The influencer market has surpassed $10 billion {dollars} as platforms corresponding to Snapchat®, TikTok® and YouTube® have enabled influencers to succeed in all kinds of various demographics. Whether or not you’re a superstar, a social media influencer, or a product placement influencer, having a big following of potential clients is a useful advertising and marketing software that companies extremely worth.  Nonetheless, for a lot of influencers the urge to construct model partnerships and endorsements typically supersedes the significance of defending the influencers’ model identities, themselves.  On this article, we’ll clarify the significance of growing emblems round your identify as an influencer to stop your victimization by model impersonation scams and fraud that would result in impersonators stealing your gross sales.

A trademark is any phrase, phrase, image, design, or mixture thereof that can be utilized to establish the supply of your items and companies.[1]  Even when you don’t file an software for a trademark, while you begin utilizing a phrase, phrase, image, design, or mixture thereof to establish the supply of your items or companies, you’ve got used an unregistered trademark.  There isn’t a requirement that you simply file an software to register your trademark to guard your model, nonetheless, with out efficient trademark safety chances are you’ll threat shedding your followers and their potential and actual gross sales in a matter of clicks.

Step 1:  Rent an lawyer:

Though you may file a trademark with out consulting an lawyer, it’s best to speak to a authorized skilled within the mental property subject who is aware of the “ins and outs” of america Patent and Trademark Workplace’s (USPTO) trademark registration course of.  An skilled trademark lawyer can advise you on a variety of trademark associated points, corresponding to whether or not your mark could also be legally protected and what submitting foundation is finest in your mark primarily based in your use or intent to make use of the mark in commerce. They will additionally be sure that your software is totally and precisely ready by choosing the suitable Worldwide Class in your items and companies and appropriately describing them. After submitting your trademark software, a trademark lawyer can guarantee well timed submitting of responses to workplace motion refusals and reply to any opposition/cancellation proceedings on the Trademark Trial and Enchantment Board (TTAB). The underside line is research present that hiring an skilled trademark lawyer results in an over 85% allowance price, as in comparison with the 55% allowance price for these DIY trademark functions filed and prosecuted by these with out particular data of trademark legal guidelines and USPTO guidelines and procedures.

Step 2:  Conduct a search:

Conducting a complete trademark search is a crucial and sometimes ignored step within the trademark software course of.  Though the phrase or phrase you wish to trademark could sound unique to you, an equivalent or confusingly comparable trademark could already be registered by one other celebration.  Due to this fact, you will need to conduct an intensive search of federal trademark functions and registrations, state functions and registrations (the place publicly obtainable), and different on-line sources to make sure that the trademark you wish to register is accessible and freed from any precise or potential conflicts.  A complete trademark search fulfills two targets:  first, it exhibits whether or not the trademark you wish to register is accessible or not; and second, the search can establish whether or not there are conflicting emblems or emblems which will result in a probability of confusion concern.  Conducting an intensive search will guarantee your mark is accessible and can assist be sure that the right class(es) of products and companies are correctly chosen when submitting your software, permitting for a quicker and cheaper registration course of.

Step 3:  File an software with the USPTO

Upon getting carried out your trademark clearance search, your lawyer can put together your trademark software.  There are two essential concerns in your software.  First, you will need to make sure the accuracy of your required trademark.  When you file your software, you can’t change or alter the trademark language.  If you happen to file a emblem, you could possibly make non-material modifications, however this will trigger issues if the Trademark Inspecting Lawyer rejects the modifications.  Second, you will need to make sure the accuracy of your items and/or companies description.  Just like the trademark language, you’re prohibited from ensuring modifications to the outline of your items and/or companies.  If you happen to file a trademark software for clothes and later resolve you must have included footwear, you may be prevented from including the extra merchandise.  Whilst you can at all times slender your description to make your items and/or companies extra particular, you can’t broaden your items and/or companies description.  If there’s a mistake as to the trademark language itself or the outline of products and/or companies in your software, you’ll need to pay for an additional software.  Usually, if there aren’t any workplace actions issued by the Trademark Inspecting Lawyer, you may count on your trademark software to be accredited for registration inside 5 to six months.  Nonetheless, if you don’t embody an correct description in your software of all the items and/or companies that you simply supply and wish to defend, chances are you’ll be losing helpful assets and creating pointless delays for your self.  Due to this fact, you will need to confirm the accuracy of all parts of your trademark software earlier than you file.

What are the advantages of getting a registered trademark in your social media model?

As a social media influencer, superstar, or public determine, you’re your model.  As you’re distinctive, it can be crucial so that you can defend your model from fraudulent impersonation scams or brandjacking and to not delay in pursuing trademark registration.  Among the essential causes to guard your model are:

Capacity to make use of ®:  Whereas this will appear to be a small profit, having a ® subsequent to your trademark will put the world on discover that your trademark is federally registered and claimed. 

Recognition:  One function of a trademark is in your customers to establish your trademark and its associated items and companies to you.  When folks see your trademark with ®, they are going to relate the products or companies to you and acknowledge the trademark as being a supply designator and never simply one other phrase or phrase. 

Safety: When you register your trademark, you achieve entry to quite a lot of further safety that an unregistered trademark isn’t afforded.  First, you may register your trademark with the U.S. Customs and Border Safety to cease the importation of counterfeit items.  Second, you may stop others from utilizing your trademark on social media web sites.  Usually, this comes within the type of submitting an Mental Property Notification with the particular web site or platform that the infringer is promoting on.  By asserting your possession of a registered trademark, the third-party web site will often take away the infringing materials inside a matter of days.  Third, you may stop others from utilizing a trademark that’s confusingly just like yours.  For instance, in case your identify is Nike®, you may stop others from utilizing “Nike” and/or variations of “Nike”, in addition to any variations which can be comparable in look, that means, or sound.  One factor to recollect is your registered trademark protects the products and companies you supply in reference to the trademark.  In case your trademark is Nike® and you’re promoting footwear, you will have a tough time defending your trademark from somebody utilizing “Nike” to supply home cleansing companies.  Nonetheless, if somebody is utilizing the trademark Nike® in affiliation with items comparable in nature to your footwear, corresponding to clothes, it is possible for you to to stop them from utilizing your registered trademark. 

Stability: With a ® beside your model, potential companions will acknowledge and know that your model is protected, and your rights are enforceable if somebody tries to steal or copy your model in affiliation with comparable or equivalent items and companies.  Info from an article revealed by CompuMark Analysis signifies that over 85% of huge firms have skilled a case of trademark infringement in 2020[2].  Displaying the general public that your model is federally registered won’t solely add worth to your model however will function a warning to copycats that you simply take your model and your rights severely.

Keep away from Rebranding:  In case your competitor registers a model earlier than you register an analogous or equivalent model, chances are you’ll be confronted with costly litigation or the necessity to rebrand.  For instance, within the case of Hayley Paige, a bridal designer contracted with an organization, JLM Couture, for the best to make use of of her identify “Hayley Paige” as a model.  After a dispute arose, Ms. Paige wished to go away JLM Couture, however they refused to permit her to make use of her identify in affiliation with comparable items and companies or equally branded social media accounts.  Paige later mentioned “They’ve taken my identify, and my social media accounts…” and was compelled to rebrand.  Though a trademark registration doesn’t typically assist in instances involving employment disputes, it may serve to guard the rights of the proprietor to make use of the trademark and make sure the proprietor isn’t compelled to rebrand if the connection goes awry.[3][4]   

Whether or not you’re an influencer who makes use of Meta (fka Fb®), Twitter®, Pinterest®, or all the above in your influencing actions, you will need to register your identify as a model.  Keep in mind, your identify is simply a reputation till you begin to use it to establish the supply of your items and/or companies.  At that time it turns into a trademark.  It is very important be proactive when creating and trying to register your trademark to make sure it’s not taken.  The very last thing you wish to do is to take a position time and assets right into a model identify solely to seek out out that another person has already used or registered the identify with the USPTO.  Additionally, when establishing your model you wish to be sure that you should use the identical identify on a number of platforms the place chances are you’ll be rising a following or have plans to develop a following.  If the identify is already taken on a specific platform however you’ve got a registered mark, you may often file takedown notices with the web site to have the identify eliminated.  Whereas this doesn’t assure that the identify might be transferred to you, it does assist to make sure that the infringing identify might be faraway from public view and your followers and potential clients won’t be confused about whether or not you’ve got a presence on the platform.  It is very important register your manufacturers and handles in your social media profiles as early as attainable to make sure you keep away from many time consuming and expensive conflicts errors which will come up.

Tips on how to implement your trademark rights if somebody begins utilizing your identify or model

After all of the money and time you’ve got spent to create and register your trademark, it might now be time to guard your model.  If you happen to establish a enterprise, group, or individual utilizing your registered trademark, step one is usually to ship a cease-and-desist letter.  The essential function of the cease-and-desist letter is to tell the infringing celebration of your registered trademark and to steer them to cease partaking in infringement of your registered trademark or face sure authorized motion.  If the infringer ignores your letter, chances are you’ll have to resort to litigation to stop continued infringement.  Sadly, when you ignore an infringing celebration lengthy sufficient, chances are you’ll jeopardize sure rights to implement your trademark in opposition to others sooner or later.  Keep in mind, stopping the infringement of your registered trademark and model early is far quicker and cheaper than trying to get better misplaced trademark rights in extended litigation.

Seek the advice of with an skilled trademark lawyer

It is very important have an IP lawyer with in depth expertise in trademark regulation when making ready and submitting your trademark software.  On the Rapacke Legislation Group, our attorneys have ready and filed 1000’s of trademark functions with the USPTO and supply all trademark functions on a clear flat payment foundation with out the trouble or stress of billable hours or unsure authorized charges. At The Rapacke Legislation Group, we’re effectively geared up that will help you safeguard your trademark software. 

Nonetheless have questions? Take our Clever IP Quiz or schedule your free cellphone session at to talk with an skilled IP lawyer about defending your trademark software.


The above emblems and types are used for illustrative functions solely primarily based on the general public data discovered from their respective registrations on the USPTO and they’re by no means affiliated, endorsed, or in any suggest a relationship with the Rapacke Legislation Group.   

[1] https://www.uspto.gov/emblems/fundamentals/what-trademark

[2] CompuMark Analysis (2020), “Trademark infringement rising year-on-year, says CompuMark report”, obtainable from: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/trademark-infringement-rising-year-on-year-says-compumark-report-300986014.html

[3] Insider (2021), “Marriage ceremony-dress designer Hayley Paige says she’s altering her identify after JLM Couture was granted management of the brial manufacturers’ social media accounts”, obtainable from: https://www.insider.com/hayley-paige-changing-her-name-because-of-jlm-couture-lawsuit-2021-3

[4] Insider (2021), “An entire timeline of bridal designer Hayley Paige’s year-long battle with JLM Couture”, obtainable from:  https://www.insider.com/hayley-paige-gutman-jlm-couture-controversy-timeline-2021-1#on-april-6-2012-the-misshayleypaige-instagram-account-was-launched-2

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