INDECOPI offers training for influencers to prevent potential IP infringement

Peru
  • INDECOPI published a report on the supervision and training actions to be carried out in relation to the content that influencers share on various social media networks.
  • INDECOPI authorities advised various influencers and content creators that they must make it clear each time they post sponsored content
  • INDECOPI held a conference targeting influencers and content creators, in which a specialised stated that although influencers have an obligation to establish sponsored content as advertising, the greatest responsibility resides with the advertisers.

The growing importance of influencers and the impact that they have on the consumption decisions of their followers is undeniable. As such, the Peru National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) has published a report on its institutional portal on the supervision and training actions to be carried out in relation to the content that influencers share on various social media networks, pursuant to the faculties, regulation and organisation of the institution under Legislative Decree 807.

Given that the content influencers share often does not correspond to their own experiences of the real products or services, but rather conveys a message that the company sponsoring them wishes to transmit, conducting this a type of covert advertising violates the principle of authenticity. In addition, there are cases in which products that infringe third-party IP rights are depicted online, encouraging their acquisition and thus causing damage to the rights holders.

The impact of influencers’ actions has led many entities around the world to take measures to reduce the difficulty for consumers to differentiate real experiences from those that are sponsored. These measures have even included global celebrities such as tennis player Roger Federer being sued by a consumer association in Switzerland due to the lack of distinction in his content on Instagram as being sponsored by Japanese brand Uniqlo.

Thus, in order to inform and educate those who exploit social media on the consequences of the content that they publish, authorities in the fields of unfair competition, copyright and trademark rights at INDECOPI met with various influencers and content creators to advise the following:

  • They must make it clear each time they post sponsored content, indicating the advertising nature of it.
  • They must have authorisation from the rights holder if they use works or content that is protected by copyright or equivalent rights.
  • They must be certain that the products they advertise are authentic and do not affect third-party trademark rights or that they can protect the names (or the signs that identify them) as trademarks.

Similarly, on 1 June 2019 INDECOPI reported that it had held a conference targeting influencers and content creators, in which a specialist provided details on the care that they should have in relation to the rights of third parties – whether copyrights or trademark rights – and stated that although influencers have an obligation to establish sponsored content as advertising, the greatest responsibility resides with the advertisers, pursuant to the Peruvian Unfair Competition Regulation.

The latest trends in the use of social media platforms are creating new challenges for the protection of IP rights by specialised authorities, as they must constantly adapt to avoid damage to rights holders through non-traditional means.

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