Working Paper: Let One Thousand Brands Blossom in the Walled Gardens of Social Media

21 Pages Posted: 20 May 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

See all articles by Danny Friedmann

Danny Friedmann

Peking University School of Transnational Law; Peking University School of Transnational Law

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

Social media, sites where users can generate content and interact with each other, such as Facebook, Twitter and Blogger, have placed trademark holders for “brand” new challenges and opportunities. Trademark holders seem to have unwittingly signed a Faustian pact with social media sites. On the one hand they can reap the benefits of two-way contact with users who co-create value for the brand. On the other hand, trademark holders seem to have lost all control over their brand integrity. A fortiori, because of the interconnectedness of social media good and bad brand exposure can spread like wild fire. Current trademark law as such cannot offer all solutions. But not all is lost for trademark holders. Social media are basing their business models on advertising. Social media have the characteristics of walled gardens which have the potential to better cater to the needs of all stakeholders than would be possible in the outside world. This paper asserts that if a balanced and transparent system is implemented in regard to brand integrity it would improve business predictability for trademark holders and social media, and legal certainty for trademark holders, social media and users alike.

Keywords: trademark law, contributory liability, social media, brand use

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Friedmann, Danny, Working Paper: Let One Thousand Brands Blossom in the Walled Gardens of Social Media (December 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1835285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1835285

Danny Friedmann (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

Peking Univ. Shenzhen Campus
University Town, Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, 518055
China

HOME PAGE: http://stl.pku.edu.cn/faculty-2/danny-friedmann/

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

China

HOME PAGE: http://ipdragon.org

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