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Welcome to my Trademark Law Spotlight Site. Here you will find frequently updated information on law, policies, cases and other developments.

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Someone else is using my trademark as a username on Twitter. What can I do?
Posted on Aug. 17, 2016

Twitter prohibits “username squatting” (registering another’s trademark as a username). However, because Twitter gives out usernames on a first-come, first-served basis, without running a clearance check to make sure a requested username is not a trademark owned by someone else, username squatting inevitably happens.

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Trademark Law
Can I manipulate the online reviews of my products to make them more positive?
Posted on Apr. 15, 2016

It depends on exactly what the “manipulation” consists of, but tread carefully. The United States District Court for the District of Utah recently suggested that a company cannot artificially boost the positivity level of its products’ online reviews by having its employees mark the positive reviews as helpful, and the negative reviews as unhelpful, or by giving customers gifts in return for posting positive reviews, if such activities actually achieve their objective, that is, if they actually create the impression that unbiased consumers find positive reviews to be helpful and negative reviews to be unhelpful, and that a high number of unbiased consumers posted positive reviews without any anticipation of reward. See Vitamins Online, Inc. v. Heartwise, Inc., 2016 WL 538458 (D. Utah Feb. 9, 2016).

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Can I purchase my competitor's trademark as a keyword on Google?
Posted on Mar. 25, 2016

Courts have usually held that purchasing a competitor’s trademark as a keyword on Google does not constitute trademark infringement or unfair competition. There is, however, no general rule. Every case has its own unique set of facts, and a court will carefully examine the relevant facts to determine whether your conduct creates a likelihood of confusion with your competitor’s trademark.

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Attorney Brett D. Ekins

Brett D. Ekins is an experienced and accomplished trademark and intellectual property lawyer. He represents clients in intellectual property matters and commercial litigation throughout Utah, Nevada and California in state and federal courts, including high-stakes litigation involving trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets. Brett also has extensive experience registering trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, including proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.