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Intellectual Property Laws Implications on Social Media

Presented By:

Vidhi Agarwal
Partner, LawQuest, Mumbai www.lawquestinternational.com

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO) TRIPS The implications for India Why is India crying hoarse? Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) Budapest Treaty
All Signatory countries need to ensure Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection within their jurisdiction.

Copyright 2008 LawQuest. All rights reserved.

Relevant Indian Laws*

The The The The The

Patents Act, 1970 Copyright Act, 1957 Trademark Act, 1999 Designs Act, 2000 Information Technology Act, 2000


*As amended from time to time and with their supporting rules.

IPRs - An Exclusive, Time Bound, Right Over A Creation

Copyrights Trademarks Patents Designs Trade Secrets Data Geographical Indications Domain Names


Copyright 2008 LawQuest. All rights reserved.

Emerging Technologies

Digitization Electronic distribution The Internet Nanotechnology Bio-technology Move from physical assets to intangible assets

Effect of Emerging Technologies

Innovation Mobile Technology Electronic Storage Devices- iPods, iPhones, Smart Phones Growth of new industries e.g. BPO Efficiency Savings Prolific Publishing Opportunities (specialized websites, blogs, portals) Customer Centric Advertising SMS and Voice Advertising, search engine advertising


Navigating Social Media in the Business World

Exploitation of Social Media by Entities
Bolstering Customer Connection
Understand defamation and copyright laws; Put in place policies to remove offensive content without jeopardizing protection

Replacing Press Releases with Social Media Updates

Apply to social media disclosures with regulatory implications; Understand the terms of use for any social media applications used, particularly with respect to privacy and ownership.

Communicating Consumer News Quickly

Consider whether such updates are desirable to the recipients.

Keeping Tabs On Competitors

Ensure that your companys use of information gleaned through use of social media complies with its antitrust policy.

Addressing Public Relations Issues

Use social media to respond to customer complaints

Recruiting Employees
Understand that information that would be inappropriate to make hiring decisions had it been obtained by other means is still inappropriate if gleaned from Internet searches.

Monitoring behavior of employees

Bear in mind that certain activities may be deemed protected.

Improving internal communications

Understand privacy and security protections (and any legal restrictions).

2. Use of Social Media by Employees (on behalf of or separate and apart from the employer)

Discussing the company or company products

If the comments could be perceived as those of the company, consider limiting such discussions to certain well-trained employees; Multiple employees discussing the same product inconsistently can create confusion; Official comments are a new source of evidence in litigation.

Disclosing Confidential Information Inadvertently

Teach employees to recognize confidential information

Incorporating Works of Others

Train employees on intellectual property basics.

Complaining about ones Job

Understand legal protections for individuals engaging in certain activities; Rights of privacy and other confidentiality obligations.

Criticizing the Company Post-Employment

Consider possible causes of action for a tort, contract, or statutory violation: Defamation,, Disclosure of trade secrets, Violation of employment agreement


References to the Entity by Third Parties

Using A Companys Name or Trademarks
Develop clear policies as to the type of uses to which your company will object and those uses that you will ignore; Protect rights proactively; Understand the terms and conditions and intellectual property protection policy.

Blogging about a Particular Product

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