Monday, May 31, 2010

Legal issues online - Don't sweat the small stuff

Last week I received a very menacing email from a Steven Kronick. He owns a company in the UK called VisualTargeting.com. On the Ontrack website we had the phrase "specialists in visual targeting". Our belief was this was a relatively generic term. According to Steven Kronick and his legal department, it is not. See the email below:

> Dear OnTrackCommunications:
>
> During a routine Intellectual Property Protection search on Google, we
> accidentally found that you are advertising that you "are specialists in
> this avenue of visual targeting,"on your Services page located at
> http://www.ontrackcommunications.ca/services.php
>
> You should know that "Visual Targeting" is a Registered Trademark that
> is being executed by a team of attorneys compiled from Darby&Darby PC,
> PepperHamilton LLP, and LeasonEllis LLP. In addition, Visual Targeting
> technologies, whatever you may mean by that, are protected by
> International Patent Laws, that we spent over a decade inventing and
> protecting.
>
> Please remove our intellectual property from your website immediately,
> as its credit is given to you and your partners rather its rightful
> owners, and no consent was given by Visual Targeting Corporation, or its
> representatives for you to claim our property as your own.
>
> Every web page on VisualTargeting.com, and piece of promotional material
> published by Visual Targeting Corporation, states that the "Visual
> Targeting" trademark cannot be used without consent. Please remove this
> term from your website immediately, so we do not have to speak about
> this legal issue with our combined 25+ lawyers. If this term is not
> removed within 48 hours of this notice, we will have no choice but to
> hand this case over to our team of attorneys.
>
> Warm Regards,
>
> Steven Kronick
> Founder & CEO
> Visual Targeting Corporation
> VisualTargeting.co.uk
> VisualTargeting.com

Needless to say, it didn't appear like an issue worth the time it would take to converse about it so we altered the wording accordingly. It does show you, however, in this age of quickly evolving disciplines that companies are actively trying to carve out niches so specific that they guard their intellectual property quite strongly.

Tomorrow, did the Quitfacebook movement have any impact?

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