& ASSOCIATES INTRODUCES WEB.SWEEP:
A service to detect unauthorized use of company names, trademarked
phrases and libelous statements in cyberspace.
Internet is a legal battlefield these days over copyright issues.
In May this year the Senate approved the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, a bill that would implement two international copyright treaties
adopted in 1996 by the United Nations' World Intellectual Property
Organization. The treaties cover property rights over written
material, sound recordings and software in the online community
and, in many cases, restrict access to private use of copyright
protected materials online.
users think nothing of downloading a photo and sending it as an
e-mail attachment or greeting to a friend or colleague with a
few keystrokes. Others link directly to intellectual property
online," says Michael Kessler whose firm Kessler & Associates
investigates online theft of licensed copyrights and trademarks.
consumers may have to adjust to a pay-per-view online environment
and companies will have to be diligent in applying protections
and monitoring use."
assist companies and their legal representatives in protecting
intellectual assets, Kessler & Associates uses a new proprietary
program they have developed called Web.Sweep. Web.Sweep detects
unauthorized uses of company names, essential phrases and can
detect libelous statements made by competitors or disgruntled
customers. Web.Sweep searches the entire World Wide Web including
Usenet, commercial online services, newsgroups and discussion
is more advanced than online search engines because using the
supplied word or phrase, it returns a Web address plus up to 50
words of text showing the exact context of the use in question.
Web.Sweep virtually eliminates the need to click through to each
of the individual sites or discussion list archives to evaluate
a competitor is bashing a company or its product, Web.Sweep will
return the exact language as written by that person. Cease &
Desist letters can be issued by Kessler or an attorney can follow
through with legal action if warranted," says Kessler. Web.Sweep
can make daily or monthly periodic checks on appropriate uses
of intellectual property, and even check prices of manufactured
goods to verify that terms of sales agreements are being followed.
to Kessler, one recent sweep detected unfair marketing practices
by a home product merchandising company's competitor. He says
publishing companies use Web.Sweep to monitor unauthorized redistribution
of articles and trademarks. Wholesale and manufacturing companies
sweep for online vendors selling their products at discounts not
in accordance with the terms of their sales agreements.
reports are published online with password protection enabled
for viewing by clients. Each use of the search criteria is numbered
with a hyperlink to the site where the use has been appropriated.
company's presence on the Web affords fast access to its intellectual
property and brand identity including: copyrights, trademarks,
trade dress, service marks and licensed properties," says
Kessler. "On the Internet everyone's a publisher, company
logos are stolen, reputations and products are easily libeled
and, in most cases, the company's executives are not aware of
it. On the plus side technology now enables investigators to follow
what is sometimes a nicely laid out e-trail which didn't exist
in the past."
more information about Web.Sweep or to discuss issues related
to Intellectual Property Theft online direct queries and interview
requests to Mr. Kessler.
Author - Jennifer L. Hulls