The use of competing marks in a corporate sponsored event.

When the use of internet was introduced to mankind, safety measures are yet to be implemented to guarantee that no rights should be impaired among individuals. With this fact, etiquette in advertisement and promotion of fair competition in the internet are encouraged among internet users so as no to violate public policy, morals and good customs among individuals.

What we need is to push through with the thrust of passing relevant information to customers, facilitate positively influence their buying capacity which includes their preferences and decisions. There is a need to make it easy in keeping the content of availability if truthful facts in order to avoid both natural and synthetic tendency to go beyond the disadvantages and advantages of a certain product or even service. Hence, it is discouraged to mislead, deceive or tolerate false advertisement making an avenue of a risk free outstanding advertisement.

We have observed how companies expand their capabilities beyond traditional supporting a product or service while carefully protecting their exclusive rights out of their innovative creativity. They make it a point not to endanger their own vested interest as well as their employees, customers, clients or subscribers in engaging advertisement using the internet based methods without violating laws and individual rights such as the Intellectual Property rights.

With the kind of technology that we have today, one can immediately copy or adopt the systems or application using the various techniques and modes of the computer. Sometimes, people can not even notice the preponderance between freedom and wrong done in capturing their images and posting it in the social media networks knowing later on that someone or something has been prejudiced.

That is why it is important to note to devise extraneous strategies for creativity protection using basic and modern tools by protecting your inventions and other materials with the concerned government agencies such as the copy right office spreading the whole world about your product or inventions, prevent inadvertent disclosure of trade secrets, if there are, especially in food business and even services, including marketing strategies and keeping confidential matters relating to patent related information

Whether intentionally done with malice or negligence (lack of foresight and skills), the modern technology can easily use other materials by a click of the computer as swift and fastest way to disseminate information. It may be picture, film or music. Prudence dictates that one must ask the permission of the trademark of copyright owner before using these tools especially when copyrights owned by others are yet to be expired. As these published articles or works are protected by copyright laws that must have to be protected. Moral rights now come in tune to make it sure that owners have given their consent on the proper use of the article and that the using of said article does not change the very nature of it, without prejudicing the rights of the copyright owner. In cases of photographs, consent is also required and can not be made possible if permission can not be granted so as following the rules of using materials owned by the public.

Since advertisement can greatly influence purchasing power of the people, regulations are needed to avoid abuse.

Complying rules is needed so as not to mislead the public, informing the public about the truth and not false pretenses, strict rules by setting strict criteria for product advertisement using children, promote legislations that must have to strictly implement television regulations, promote face-to-face marketing and others, out of proportion means of marketing strategies that would really endanger right or proper advertisement.

One must be wary, as lawsuit on infringement are openly available to create better protection of each other interests without taking into considerations the peril of losing business due to negligence and ignorance of the general legal perspective pertaining the copyrights law.

Now, can you take a picture of yourself wearing an A company shirt inside a stadium where B company is having a corporate sponsored event? Is this a concrete example of unfair competition?

I asked my wife, who works in a holding company and a sister company of a leading telecommunication company in the Philippines, about it and she said that if there is malice on the act then it is done arbitrarily and should be reprimanded. But if none, then there is nothing wrong about it.

Well, I guess, we all have the freedom to take pictures of ourselves.

We live in a democratic country with rights and freedom expressly written in the Constitution. Except, when it is used to commit so wrong which is grave to abuse that right and freedom of ours and tends to build anarchy.

She has a point though, as certain exceptions are accepted in every commission of an undesired act. If it is done with malice with intentional then there is a grave abuse of that freedom which already a clear use of unfair competition. But, if it is not, then it can be qualified as pure negligence that can be justified.

In fact, the World Intellectual Property Organizations outlined some basic steps to protect your product and the promotion of good advertisement.

These are Creative content by protecting advertising slogans and sounds; Protection of Business names such as logos, product names, domain names and other signs used in advertisement; Protection using laws on Geographical indications against unfair competition; Consumer protection laws or laws for protection of Certification Marks or special laws; Protection using industrial design law on computer generated symbols, screen displays graphic user interfaces; Protection by patents and some utility modes to advertising techniques or means of doing business; Trademark laws or industrial design on Distinctive packaging; Protection using public and private rights on Persons Identity including her or his voice; Protection of Copyright on Databases and Protection against false endorsement, deceptive packaging, dishonest promotions and marketing falling under Unfair Advertising methods. (Types of Intellectual property rights involved in Advertising, WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION)

Another fiend of mine shared that in a country where life is hard, for a business to thrive and succeed, it has to be unique, readily available and always adapting to the change of economy and technology. The business might be unique but with technology and social media making the world smaller, people will always find a way to compete and come up with bigger and better ideas. In a world of business, there will always be competitor, trying to upstage the service and steal the consumers. And in a democratic country where freedom of expression is very broad, there are very few limitations on introducing and advertising a new product.

Endorsers and employees are expected to support and use their own product. Supporting a competitor’s product is not good for the business and it strains trust and loyalty. In an exclusive event or corporate sponsored event to promote a product, employees and endorsers should show their utmost support in ensuring the product is successfully introduced to the market.

Does this apply to an outsider or a random guest attending the event? How about their freedom of expression or freedom of speech? In the real world, management might ask the security personnel to talk to the person and may be escorted out of the event. However, if the person refuses, they really cannot do anything about it as it is violative of his constitutional rights.

Say in a basketball tournament sponsored by Globe and some of the audiences who attended wore t-shirts with “Smart” printed on it, it is clearly a competitor but it is nothing but an outfit for most of us. It doesn’t mean that these people are coming together to go up against Globe, and if ever they were, provided that there is no malice and overt act done, it is their right to do so. It also doesn’t mean that people who saw the competitor’s branding will not support Globe and transfer to Smart. At the end of the day, people have the right to express and do whatever they want to do provided it is not against the law or arbitrary to others. Also, people have the right to change their minds and decisions in life. Like the saying goes, “Survival of the fittest”— only the best and toughest will endure and stay, just like businesses.

If a business will not be able to catch up and adapt to the changing times such as technology and demands, people will eventually stop using it and will find another service which can provide their needs and sustain their living. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and it might be unfair for some but that’s why life in general is always evolving. People will always be on the look out for new ideas that actually work and will make their lives easier. Before, nobody thought that people can earn tons of money online and only saw the internet as an informative tool which is readily available. Now, a number of millionaires in the world started out with a simple concept online to bring people together or to share snippets of their daily lives. These simple ideas grew out surprisingly to be an addiction to a lot of people. These websites which started out as a “hobby” for some, turned out to be big time businesses with millions of users and followers. People started thinking out of the box, using bigger, better and bolder moves to introduce their product to the public. Some became a fad only while others took over the world in all aspects of life. The old and inefficient disappears and the new, effective and convenient remains until a new one gets invented of course.

The use of competing marks in a corporate sponsored event is not something new to us. People have been doing it even before the internet era and it will always happen as long as there is competition in the market. We have laws to promote the general welfare, policy, safety, security and order in this country and these laws are precisely the limitations in expressing and doing one’s own actions.

To conclude, one must be wary in shifting from manual to technology bound mode of effective dissemination of rightful information. People should observe etiquette in various ways of applying the technology without hurting so bad the laws and values of copy right and trademark laws particularly the promotion of fair competition. We should take all the risks and be bound to take all possible responsibilities in order for us to dance with the tune of different innovations in which people nowadays largely depend particularly on the application of high technology of information. The risk is always there. It is undeniable. But, whether there is malice or not and the act was brought about by negligence, using the internet in promoting ones vested interest should be properly laid down in accordance with pertinent laws. Once classified as an intentional violation, it should be dealt with accordingly.


One thought on “The use of competing marks in a corporate sponsored event.

  1. Pingback: Students’ Take: Contacts viz RA 10173 | Berne Guerrero

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