Online Trade Dress Infringement

Can there be an Infringement on my YouTube Channel?

With the rise of technology, there has been an increase in YouTube channels, blogs, and online users. With this rise of online users there has also been a rise of online trade dress infringement claims.

Trade dress infringement claims are no longer solely about whether a producer is infringing upon the other because of the packaging or design of a product. Now trade dress infringement also encompasses whether an online user is infringing upon another user’s YouTube channel or blog by copying the name or the content.

Traditionally you would have to sue the infringing party if he/she was infringing upon your content or channel, however as online trade dress infringement becomes more common websites are creating policies regarding how to deal with these infringements.

What can You do if Someone is copying your YouTube Channel?

YouTube policy prohibits videos and channels that infringe on trademarks. YouTube prohibits a person from uploading on YouTube content that uses another party’s trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion to consumers. If this occurs the video of the infringing part may be blocked, and their channel may be suspended.

If you believe that your trademark or trade dress is being infringed upon you may send a cease and desist letter to the user that is infringing upon your trade dress or trademark. Contacting the uploader may resolve the matter more quickly than contacting YouTube. However, if this is not successful, the trade dress or trademark user may submit a complaint on YouTube.

You may go on YouTube and file a “Trademark complaint” if you believe that your product or service is being infringed upon. YouTube will then perform a review of the complaint, give the infringer the opportunity to address the issue, and then remove the content and/or channel if the infringer does not remove the video in question and there is a clear case of infringement.

What can be done if the Titles of the YouTube videos are the same, but the content inside the YouTube video is different?

YouTube prohibits content intending to impersonate a person or channel. If this occurs and it causes confusion about the source of goods and services, YouTube will not allow it. YouTube also prohibits a person from posting content on YouTube if it copies another channel’s profile, background, or overall look and feel in a way that it makes it look like someone else’s channel.

Additionally, YouTube prohibits a person from posting content or a channel on YouTube that imitates someone’s real name, user name, imagine, or other personal information to deceive the audience into thinking they are someone else on YouTube. This applies to videos, videos descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature.

If you believe that the content of another individual violates the YouTube policy, then you may report it on YouTube by going to the infringing channel, clicking “about,” and reporting the user. Additionally, you may send a cease and desist letter to the infringing uploader stating that he/she is violating YouTube policy and infringing upon your channel.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Eric P. Gros-Dubois founded EPGD Business Law in 2013 and is the current head of the firm’s corporate, estate planning, and tax practice, and manages the firm’s Washington D.C. office. With a JD and MBA, and a specialization in finance, Eric is able to step back and view the legal world through a commercial lens while also acting as a trusted business advisor for his clients. He does his best to be solutions oriented, and tries to think like a business owner, not just a lawyer.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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