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"Aloha Poke": Social Media and Consumer Perception are Part of the Trademark Enforcement Equation

Once a company owns a trademark, it must police the mark for unauthorized use, or risk losing its rights. As a result, companies will send “cease and desist” letters to enforce and protect their marks. At times, however, legal rights are only one consideration. Public opinion and consumer perception are also part of the equation, as the Aloha Poke Co. (“Aloha Poke”), a Chicago based restaurant, recently learned firsthand.

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Court Rules on Social Media Sites' Privacy Settings

On May 26th, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that, under the Stored Communications Act of 1986, postings to a user’s Facebook “wall” (and, similarly, to the “comments” page on MySpace – although nobody actually uses MySpace anymore) are considered private so long as the user has his privacy settings set such that only “friends” can see his wall postings.

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