Programs and Events
Social Media and Trademark Issues in the Nonprofit World
Discussion Outline

1. Discuss the role of social media in your organization

  • How do you use social media?
  • What specific social media platforms are used by your organization?
  • Do you have guidelines for all employees governing use of the social media account to ensure uniformity?

2. Are you proactively registering the brands you use on your social media accounts? 

  • Are you also registering your brand as usernames? 

3. Do you see fake social media accounts for your organization? Infringing usernames?

  • Do you maintain records of infringing accounts?
  • How do you currently address fake accounts (take down requests)?
4. What kinds of monitoring programs do you use?
  • Cost-effective monitoring for damaging content
  • Create Google alerts and consider using websites such as :
    • (search blogs, Facebook, Twitter)
    • (checks trademark “availability” on social networking sites)
    • (sends alerts when people are tweeting about your company)
    • (reports who is bidding on keywords that tie in to your trademarks)

5. How do you handle infringement of your brand on social media?

  • Consider the identity of the user
  • Be cautious of overly aggressive demand letters
  • Social media notice and takedown procedures

6. What kind of PR considerations do you have as it relates to social media?

  • Poorly worded demand letters or an overly aggressive approach could be on the Internet instantly

7. Do you run contests or sweepstakes via social media?

  • Proper disclosures
  • Checking applicable state laws and social media guidelines before posting
8. Do you post endorsements, sponsorships, or testimonials?

  • Must disclose compensation and material connections
  • Must be truthful

9. Are you using trademarks owned by others?

  • Terms and Conditions for employees to follow to prevent unlawful posts
  • Celebrity content? Right of publicity
  • Are you using user-generated content for marketing purposes?

10. Social media and litigation—used in electronic discovery

  • Everything is discoverable despite privacy settings