Internet

Friday, 11 December 2009 18:48

TWEET TWEET

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Now that we too are tweeting it is time we blog about Twitter. As some of you may know, the Pew Internet Project report recently found that 19 percent of all US Internet users are using Twitter or similar services to share social updates, a number which is an 8 percent increase from last year.  Not surprisingly the increase is mainly attributed to three groups: (1) young Internet users 18-44, (2) mobile users and (3) those who already utilize social networks, such as Facebook and MySpace.  The survey results were based on 2,253 phone responses from U.S. consumers 18 and older between Aug. 18 and Sept. 14. The 18-44 demographic can be broken down further. Specifically, usage nearly doubled from 19 percent in December 2008 to 37 percent in the 18 to 24 age group. Those 25-35 were not far behind they were up 20 points to 31 percent.  While users 35-44s went up 10 points to 19 percent. 

A federal lawsuit that involves one of the firm's clients, Money4Gold Holdings, Inc., has drawn media attention, due to its implications on internet commerce and online marketing .  Among the issues raised by this lawsuit is whether companies that utilize affiliate marketing can be held responsible for alleged acts of infringement by individual affiliate marketers, also known as "publishers".   

An article written by Vanessa Blum, a special reporter to the Daily Business Review, can be found here.

 Beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday, June 13th, Facebook users will be allowed to register a custom username for their profile's URL on a first-come first-serve basis. Currently, a Facebook user's URL looks something like: "www.facebook.com/ profile.php?id=5703348&ref=name." However, from this point forward, users will be able to claim personal URL's, such as "www.facebook.com/JohnSmith."  Businesses and public figures with Facebook pages will also be permitted to create personal URL's, though at this point Facebook has stated that it will only allow vanity URL's on those pages with at least 1,000 "fans."  Facebook, who is following in the footsteps of other "personal" websites such as MySpace, Twitter, and WordPress in allowing vanity URL's seeks to avoid the Intellectual Property issues which have resulted from the same by limiting ULR registrations. See  http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=7761758 (St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's pending lawsuit against Twitter, claiming Cyber squatting; Right of Publicity; Trademark Infringement, and Trademark Dilution)
 
While Facebook states that the availability of URL’s will make it easier for friends, family, and co-workers to find users though search engines the benefits to users are few when compared to possible misuse of URL’s on Facebook.  Not surprisingly, many trademark owners are concerned that Facebook’s new service will create a new arena for trademark infringement and cyber squatting.  In light of the same, we recommend that any person or business without a Facebook profile before May 31 take advantage of some of the safeguards that Facebook has instituted. Specifically, since non-users are ineligible to receive a personalized URL during this initial offering, Facebook is requesting that business fill out this form, which will prevent individuals from registering your trademark as a Facebook URL. This is an important step to consider because once a URL is created, Facebook states that it cannot be changed, transferred, or sold. As always, if you any questions or concerns regarding this or other matters contact our office.
           
Adam Goldman contributed to this Blog entry.           
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