What about your company? Chances are that no matter how hard you work at making everyone happy, someone won't be. They might even come to the conclusion that you suck.
And with all of the Cool Tools out there on the Internet, there are many more ways for them to publish their particular point of view.
Reading Eric Eggerson's excellent blog, Common Sense PR today, I was reminded once again why companies should consider registering URLs that could be damaging to their brand.
I have to admit that before buying things, I often do searches with the brand name and negative tags at the end. My favorite is the word “sucks.” And I can also tell you that as I have monitored the Internet for numerous clients, I have run across many posts that proclaim, “Such-and-such company sucks.” I also have an example or two where these same people register the domain.
Eric points us to the Taubmansucks Website, where the lesson is decidedly that corporations should talk with people, rather than just sue them.
In fact, my FIRST recommendation would be to take a common sense approach toward people using your trademark. Clearly, in the case of protecting your trademark, your attorney is the key player, but from a public relations standpoint, you don't want Taubman's situation on your hands.
I think so many things could be easily handled if they started with a simple phone call or e-mail to talk about an acceptable solution. The legal card should only be pulled when it is determined nothing else will work. In the case of Taubman, the case escalated from a simple fan site to a victory that is now in case law that allowed the defendant to have his original site, as well as a number of other sites with the name of the company and “sucks” amended to the end.
As the judge said, “It was the digital version of shouting from the rooftops.”
So protect your brand. Buy some of the most egregious domains, and approach trademark infringers with the end goal in mind – which is to find a mutually acceptable solution.