In the internet era, the virtual marketplace has become the primary forum for brands to build equity and trust with their customers.

Brand management ensures that companies effectively communicate with their customers and build customer lifetime value (CLTV) through longer lasting relationships. Effective communication means sending a cohesive message to target customers and ensuring that external influences do not mislead the conversation. Customers, critics, competitors, and anonymous users are willing and able to publicize unauthorized, defamatory, and negative connotations of brands on third-party and social networking websites. The result is often commoditization of the product or service in the customer’s mind, and weakened CLTV.

A recent study by Fleishman-Hillard indicated in a survey sample that 89% of consumers use search engines as predestination to making purchasing decisions. Whether on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, the study indicates that consumers have become more influenced by their search engine results than the opinions of relatives and friends.

It is imperative that companies utilize technology to manage their brands online, and gain a competitive advantage in their industry. Companies that are able to identify, remediate and report on violations of brand standards on search engines, social networking, and unaffiliated websites are better suited to improve customer equity, and manage their customer relationships effectively.

To learn more about IntegriShield’s online brand management services, call (816) 994-1313 or contact Jeremy Wassmer at jwassmer@integrishield.com today.

Copyright infringement affects brands of every size, shape and income.  From A-List celebrities to small mom and pop corporations, various media outlets provide a vast canvas for the misuse of trademarked materials. Over the last century, celebrities have struggled with unauthorized use of their materials, where others sought to infringe upon their successes for financial gain. In 2003 Maureen Marder, better known as the inspiration behind the 1983 movie “Flashdance,” sued Jennifer Lopez claiming Lopez and her label, Epic , illegally portrayed Marder’s life story in her 2003 video, “I’m Glad.” The case was dismissed in 2005 due to Marder’s lack of copyright ownership.[1]

In more recent years the “Beliber” himself was sued for $10 million alongside Usher for copyright Infringement for their collaboration “Somebody to Love.” In May 2013 Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton, both songwriters, claimed that Justin Bieber’s hit, “Contained several lyrical and stylistic similarities to the song of the same name they penned in 2008.” As of June 2013 Bieber filed a motion for dismissal due to lack of jurisdiction and improper venue, but no conclusion has been made.[2] If one song wasn’t enough to break the bank, Robin Thicke was sued for infringement for three. Marvin Gaye’s family filed a lawsuit in October 2013 claiming that Robin Thicke ripped off a handful of Gaye’s songs. Among the three songs in question, Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines” followed by ,“Love After War” and “Make U Love Me.[3]” Currently this case is still in court.

Although the star of many infringement lawsuits, the entertainment industry is not the only field threatened by copyright infringement, small companies and large enterprises run the same risk of infringement by failing to properly track and monitor their copyrighted material online.  The internet has created an infringement war zone with misused material found on websites, social media and blogs. IntegriShield’s Infringement Detection service has created a virtual safe haven for companies searching for a way to monitor their copyrighted material. Don’t let others make a profit from abusing your copyrighted material. For more information on how to protect your brand call 816.994.1313 or request information.


[1] http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1422830.html

[2] http://www.law360.com/articles/454208/bieber-looks-to-duck-10m-copyright-suit-over-hit-song

[3] http://articles.latimes.com/2013/oct/31/entertainment/la-et-ms-marvin-gaye-lawsuit-robin-thicke-blurred-lines-20131031

Maintaining the integrity of brands online has become a difficult task for many companies with limited resources and expertise of online copyright infringement. The internet offers an enormous platform for third-party websites to infringe upon privileged material for the purposes of financial gain. Isolating infringing material online and enforcing timely action to remove infringing items from Internet Service Provider’s websites can be tedious and inefficient. Brands with online presence are at risk of having their privileged material copied, recorded, or imported causing significant financial losses.

Bloombergi reported, in June 2013, that a man named Li Xiang plead guilty to copyright conspiracy in Wilmington, Delaware resulting in a sentence of 12 years. The government estimated that Xiang’s web-based business infringed upon a total retail value of over $100 million in software products from U.S. based companies, and sold to customers all over the globe.  Xiang operated out of Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan providence of Southwest China.

Case U.S. v. Li, 10-cr-112, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

In August, 2013, The New York Timesii published an article explaining the extensive copyright infringement of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The MTA is North America’s largest transportation network based in New York, and issues approximately “600 notices a year for copyright infringements to protect trademarks on trainline logos and other system imagery” (Flegenheimer, M.T.A.)iii. All of the MTA’s subway, rail, and maps are copyright protected, and violators range from desperate artists to the upper echelons of the online retail industry. The MTA’s licensing income is a heavily needed source of revenue for the New York transportation system’s bottom line, but the authority has not been able to place a precise value on its losses from copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement in the digital era poses a great risk for brands to protect their privileged material online from anonymous users around the world. Companies need the right resources, time, and expertise to protect themselves and their bottom lines.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-11/chinese-national-sentenced-to-12-years-over-pirated-software.html

ii http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/24/nyregion/c-train-cafe-the-mta-may-put-up-a-fight.html?_r=0

iii Flegenheimer, Matt. “M.T.A. Guards Against Copyright Infringement.” The New York Times. 23 August

2013. Web. 4 November 2013.

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