Our session on “Image is Everything” in Cyberlaw and the Global Economy — focusing on the issue of brand on the Net — involved a spirited discussion of how businesses should take advantage of the ability to build brand online and avoid a series of traps laid for the unwary in the same space.
We started with a SWOT analysis, wbich is memorialized in the slide presentation, on building brand in cyberspace, with particular help from our MIT Sloan School cross-registrant and guest lecturer Brian Murray from Cyveillance.
Brian then took us through a fascinating demo of what Cyveillance does for its clients. The idea is to provide mark holders with the ability to scour the web to find uses, and abuses, of the mark that the client can then decide to address or to ignore. He showed how some businesses will embed the name or the mark of their competitors in code or metadata to attract online traffic. He also showed how cybersquatters and typosquatters can use redirects to fool potential customers into considering a purchase with someone other than the intended merchant.
The second half of class honed in on the case of Sallen v. Corinthians, with reference made also the Niton and Playboy cases that we read for class. In large measure, we took up the issue of the interplay between contract-driven arbitration and proceedings under domestic law between parties with adverse positions and different countries of origin. We picked up on the H2O discussion of the same topic, the results of which impressed me greatly.