Personally identifiable information includes, but is not necessarily limited to:
- First and last name
- Physical address, including street name and name of a city or town
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Social security number
- Any other identifier that permits the physical or online contacting of a specific individual
This post discusses whether and how you can protect your website’s “look and feel“.
The reason you would want such protection: Your website has particularly effective visual and interactive elements that help promote your business. You would not want another website to copy those elements, thus make your website and your business less special.
Look and Feel as Trade Dress
Look and feel falls in the category of trade dress, i.e., visual appearance that signifies the source of a product or service. You may be able to obtain a federal trademark registration for the non-functional elements of the website’s look and feel and bring suit against infringers based on that registration. (more…)
Nick Starr, doing business as Master Maintenance, hired West Central Ohio Internet Link, Ltd. to redesign and host the website for Master Maintenance’s janitorial services.
The redesigned website included four photos owned by, but not properly licensed from, Corbis Corporation.
In Fall 2006, Corbis discovered Master Maintenance’s unauthorized use of its pictures. On November 17, 2006, Corbis sent Master Maintenance a letter informing it of the infringement. Master Maintenance directed West Central to remove the pictures, which West Central did. On December 7, 2007, Corbis filed suit for copyright infringement against Master Maintenance and West Central (Corbis Corporation v. Nick Starr).