I discussed the law behind website material and copyrights. Quite often, with a little research, you may find that some of the material you have put on your website has been stolen.
So if that happens, what can you do?
The first thing you can do is send a cease and desist letter. We typically send a series of them. The first cease and desist should come from you. It should be somewhat friendly and could state that they may not know but you have copyrights in your website material and they may have accidentally used it on their website. This letter does however let them know you are aware of them and are watching them. Give them a set date by which to change their website.
If they do not comply, then you should hire an attorney to write the next letter for you. The attorney’s letter will be more stern and aggressive. Finally, the last letter, if needed, will come from the attorney with a set time frame in which they must comply or else. Some attorneys, if the client is serious enough, will attached a copy of the complaint to be filed should they fail to change their website.
The above is the direct approach, but it is not the only approach. You may also go after the website provider to have them remove the website. If you go to whetstone, you can find out who is hosting the website. By contacting them, you may be able to get the website taken down.
You can also file a complaint with Google and Facebook to have material taken down from their respective sites. If you can show them that your website has been copied, they are usually very receptive to taking materials down from the web.
A state trademark is straightforward and cheap to obtain whereas a federal trademark can be expensive to obtain. Many clients come in wanting to trademark multiple items and I tell them to just file one to make sure it goes through so that they do not waste money trying to obtain trademarks on multiple items that they may never obtain.