Why are online traders at risk?

In this article we will be looking at why online traders are at risk and what your business can do to protect your business name from online rivals and competition.

Almost all businesses these days have a website and trade online in various ways including through locations such as Ebay and Amazon Market Place. This means that businesses big and small are vulnerable to another business stealing your business identity or creating similar identities so as to confuse your customers.

It is common practice for competitors to use a URL that is similar to yours to divert traffic away from your website to their own website. Competitors may also use your URL in their own website keywords to pinch traffic.
For example, a Chinese take away business with the name of Jasmine’s Chinese Take Away could exist. If another take away business with the same name existed in the next town or somewhere else entirely, they could trade quite happily using the same name because they would advertise in their local area.

With the boom of trading online Internet searchers could find both of the Jasmine’s Chinese Take Away businesses and possibly not know which one was which when examining the search results. If one of the businesses decided to trade mark the business name then the other would have to rebrand.

Businesses are also at risk from large organisations trade marking catch phrases or words used in cartoons or TV shows and the result has often been that the business using catch phrase or word has had to change the business name because the cost of fighting the trade mark being filed is too great.

Such an example was a fish and chip shop called “Scooby Snax” in Essex in October 2012 which was forced to change it name because Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc and their heavy weight lawyers forced the small chippy to rebrand after a long legal battle.

Read more about this dispute here

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