Another Lawsuit!…What is it this time?

There are so many different ways that PR practitioners can have a lawsuit form against them.  After taking the NewsU course and reading chapter nine of my Think Public Relations book I realized all of the things that PR practitioners have to go through. I think that the most important piece of the law for PR practitioners to be aware of is the law about trademarking.

First off, a trademark is something that identifies a product through words, symbols, or a slogan.  Many of use know what trademarks are, but here are a few examples of trademarks that are protected: aspirin, cornflakes, nylon, cellophane, etc.  They are all common names that we use in our everyday language. They usually do not just describe one product.

The law says, you are not aloud to copy a trademark and make it your companies slogan, use it to campaign something, etc. so with this in mind PR practitioners have to get creative. So, for PR practitioners this might bring a lot of trouble. There are so many slogans out there and it is hard for PR practitioners to find one that is not in use.

There were stories in our book that told us about lawsuits based on trademark infringement.  One story from the book was this: Entrepreneur (magazine) filed a suit against a PR firm because it changed its name to “EntrepreneurPR”.  It is the simplest sayings or words that could make a company have a lawsuit against them. This is why PR practitioners need to know this law very well.  They need to know the majority of the trademarks out there or if they do

Here is an example of a Starbucks trademark infringement!

not know all of them they need to have someone check before they publish a campaign or a new company name.

There are so many laws out there that PR practitioners have to look at, but I think that this one could get them in the most trouble. They need to be current and up to date on everything.

I wonder how many PR firms get lawsuits on trademark infringements?…hmmm!


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