Q: Can my business challenge the validity of a competitor’s claims in a national advertising campaign without having to engage in costly and lengthy litigation?
A: Yes. The National Advertising Division (“NAD”) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“CBBB”) provides an inexpensive, efficient and timely procedure for the review of national advertising for truthfulness and accuracy. In reaching its decisions, the NAD provides both parties the opportunity to present their positions in writing, and often in person, and also utilizes the expertise of well-informed attorneys and other experts who have direct knowledge of the industry that is the subject of the advertising dispute. The NAD provides a written decision within 60 business days, meaning that it is likely the challenge will be decided while the advertisement is still running. If you want more information on the NAD process, please contact our office.
James B. Shrimp, September 2011
Q: Can I protect my most valuable asset: my business’s name and reputation on the Internet?
A: Given today’s Internet-driven economy, businesses are vulnerable to the actions taken by unscrupulous individuals/businesses (cybersquatters), who utilize trademarks, or confusingly similar domain names, to make money from your hard-earned reputation. Although cybersquatters are themselves difficult to stop, there are cost effective measures that any business can take to protect its name, trademarks and reputation. For instance, a business can file a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The decisions of WIPO are recognized by most of the organizations that control domain names in the world. Swift action is crucial, as the cost to rehabilitate a business’s reputation is exponentially higher than preventative measures.
Joel D. Rosen, February 2009