Protect Your Brand: Check for Copyright Infringement

Welcome to another installment of 10-minute branding!

10-Minute Branding Refresher: How do you build your brand 10 minutes at a time? You start small, and you simply begin. An excellent way to convince yourself to get going is to plan your ending. You can even set a timer. Then, be sure to bask in the success of your huge accomplishment of actually beginning and also appreciate the amount of work that got done. Then, repeat the process tomorrow. And the next day. And so on. You will be amazed at your branding progress . . . 10 minutes at a time.

If you create something of value, someone, at some point, is going to try to steal it from you.

Image by Freepik

You’ll most likely encounter such a culprit even if you don’t go looking. However, if you stay vigilant and catch copyright infringement quickly, you don’t risk losing too much ground. I recommend performing this check once per month. (If you never see any copycats, you can extend the task to once every three or six months.)

SEARCH FOR TEXT

Use a search engine to search for your company name, company slogan, product name, product slogan, etc. I usually go about five pages deep. If you don’t see any infringement by that point, chances are you’re good.

SEARCH FOR YOUR GRAPHICS

Using google’s reverse image search, I would search for the portion of your logos (company and products) without the text, so you’re searching for any graphical components individually. To do so . . .

1. Go to google.com and click the camera icon at the far right of the search box.

2. Click the ‘upload a file’ link and follow the prompts to select your image.

3. Google may automatically crop the searchable area of your image as was done for mine below. If so, you can simply drag the corners of the outline outward to extend the highlighted area of the picture.

4. Scan the “visual matches” for any copycats.

ISSUES

If you find any copycats, bookmark the web site(s) containing the infringement as you go. If you have a lawyer, forward your results. If not, stay tuned. We’ll elaborate on ‘next steps’ in a future post.

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