Why Influencers should have a registered trademark

Why Influencers should have a registered trademark

Those who live on social media or, at least, make money, know how many difficulties and uncertainties there are in everyday business. The unclear laws and the lack of sufficient recognition, in fact, still dominate. But are there any legal protections already available for Influencers? If you are wondering, the answer is yes, being able to still refer to all these institutions of traditional law reinterpreted through new technological phenomena. Among these, in particular, the registered trademark and the de facto trademark.

Influencers and brands: when do they meet?

In the life of creators, brands come into play all the time. Influencers, in fact, work with texts, images and online videos. Very often it happens that these contents contain logos, writings and symbols. Just think of Twitch streamers, in which video game brands appear, and the various IGers who talk on their product channels, showing their packaging. In unboxing videos, the packaging of consumer goods and the moment of discarding are often the center of attention, during which there is an almost mathematical certainty of displaying other people's brands. Still, a typical sign of recognition for those who work online is the domain name that often affects all social networks as a "property" nickname, including assignment competitions, unofficial groups and scammers.

In the life of Influencers, however, brands are not only online. In fact, it is an almost natural outcome in the career of every creator to combine the activity on the internet with the production of merchandising or other types of goods. Clothing, books and comics, illustrations, action figures, cosmetics and much more has come out in recent years from the social channels to pour onto the shelves of physical stores. Think, for example, of the numerous illustrators and cartoonists whose activities as online creators and “old-fashioned” artists are absolutely complementary. Not to mention clothing and accessories. Many have launched branded clothing lines, not only among Influencers who deal with fashion, but, for example, also among those involved in gaming.

So what is a brand

What do all the cases just mentioned have in common? The potential use of trademarks, with all the resulting legal effects.

Photo credit - depositphotos .com Legally, the trademark is one of the distinctive signs that any company (even individual) can adopt. It can be made out to both natural and legal persons, and serves to distinguish the products and services offered. More specifically, the registered trademark and the unregistered trademark attribute to the owner the exclusive right to use a specific wording in economic relations, in any way reproduced. This is the verbal mark (for example, the words "sportsgaming.win"). There are, however, other types. For example, there may be a figurative trademark, that is composed of specifically identified graphic components (for example, the wording sportsgaming.win with the colors, font and appearance that we all know).

I dangers for influencers

Returning to the cases listed above, what role could the brand therefore have? Through the trademark, especially if registered, it is possible to prevent others from exploiting their work illegitimately. Consider, in this regard, a recent case in which an influencer was sentenced to pay astronomical compensation by the Court of Milan, because he had published photos in which shoes produced by him had been placed on the hood of a Ferrari, near the famous prancing horse. The conduct was in that case considered "parasitic", because it suggested the existence of an association with the well-known car manufacturer that never actually existed. But cases of this type also happen very frequently among creators.

Think of the hypothesis in which an influencer with fewer followers, in order to spread the conviction of being associated with another channel with more subscribers, uses it the typical signs of recognition. It goes without saying, however, that if the use of someone else's trademark is not such as to make it lose its distinctive character with the relevant public, there will be no violation. Think, for example, of a video in which you make a review, a reaction or comment on the work of others. In that case, viewers will presumably be aware that they are different subjects. Moreover, if this were not the case, freedom of speech itself could be jeopardized since it is necessary to distinguish criticism / freedom of expression from commercial juxtaposition.

Why an influencer should register a trademark

As we have seen, the trademark allows you to inhibit actions of unfair competition by others. The brand, therefore, helps to consolidate one's business, ensuring that others do not carry out harmful actions against them. In fact, when registering the trademark, it will be necessary to specify the classes and sub-classes for which registration is requested. In other words, it will be necessary to specify the goods and services for which protection is sought. Therefore, a creator who registers his own logo may, for example, decide to make it valid as a trademark not only in telecommunications (websites and social media), but also for the production of clothing, objects and various gadgets. It follows that he will also be protected for cases in which a third party wants to exploit his registered trademark to produce, for example, T-shirts without permission. A different argument, on the other hand, will apply to the product categories not included in the classes of registered products and services.

As you can guess from what has just been said, the registration of a trademark is a very delicate moment, so it is advisable be assisted by a lawyer who knows all the possible critical points of the registration procedure and who helps the creator to identify the formula that best suits his needs. We at Leggedellinforamtica.it recommend our partners who have been following a large number of influencers for some time and know how to make the right arrangements for a "digital" brand compared to the registration of a traditional brand.

What to do if I don't have a registered trademark

If, at this point, you are wondering what you can do if you have not registered your trademark up to now, there is good news: even the unregistered trademark, also called "di done ”, enjoys the protection of the law to a certain extent. In fact, the person who has made use of an unregistered trademark for a certain period of time, in such a way as to have made it acquire a certain distinctiveness and recognition with the relevant public, will accrue a series of exclusive rights on it. Therefore, if in your social channels you have always used a trademark - provided, of course, it has not already belonged to third parties - you can later assert it against those who try to carry out parasitic actions to your detriment or will be caught with counterfeit products.

In any case, it is always advisable to register the trademark as soon as the opportunity arises. In this way, in fact, it will not be necessary to prove that your business has acquired sufficient notoriety and recognition to claim its use exclusively also in reference to all new influencers who in good faith intend to use it.


As we have seen, the corporate brand could represent a turning point for many creators and influencers who, struggling every day with the difficulties of the profession, would like to give greater solidity to their business. More generally, every company should pay particular attention to the protection of its intangible assets - including, for example, the domain name - and of its know-how.

In this regard, the advisable way is certainly that of registering the trademark right away. Only in this way, in fact, is it possible in many cases to avoid any parasitic actions and unfair competition and protect your brand.

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