Setting up a social media profile posing as someone else likely violates the platform’s terms of service. It may also constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and civil fraud. Illinois-based poultry processor Wayne Farms LLC filed a federal complaint against a John Doe defendant as well as LinkedIn Corporation arising from a profile purporting to be Wayne Farms’ Senior Sales Manager.

The profile included the Wayne Farms trademarked logo and an email address including the company name and sales manager’s first name. The profile was allegedly used to promote Wayne Farms’ products and solicit payments for such products. 

Shortly after discovering the fake account, Wayne Farms reached out to LinkedIn on multiple occasions. In its complaint, Wayne Farms alleges that, while the profile was disabled for short periods, it continued to reappear on LinkedIn’s platform. Wayne Farms’ claims against the defendants include violations of various federal and state laws, including trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting.

An article with more information is available here.  The Wayne Farms LLC v. LinkedIn docket sheet is available here.  Contact us at Ossian Law P. C. regarding any information technology law matter.

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