Web Browsers and Why They Matter to Trademark Practitioners

by Steve Anderson on December 5, 2012

Would you want your medical doctor to use outdated equipment and technology to manage your health? Of course not! Legal professionals should think the same way about their clients and use the best possible tools and technology available for rendering legal services.

If you’re a trademark practitioner or brand owner, you should be concerned about the browser version both you and your clients are using. From a trademark perspective, you need to see what the rest of the world is seeing when it comes to viewing the web. If you’re using an old browser, some of the graphic elements on websites that you view, like logos and taglines, may not be displaying properly – or at all. You also may not be able to enjoy the most current functionality provided by websites using newer technologies. These include advanced workflow and data tools that your competitors and clients may be using to the fullest extent. You don’t want to fall behind the pack!

Sadly, the web browser can be one of the most neglected applications in a trademark practitioner’s arsenal. The continued use of old, outdated browsers by computer users and corporate IT departments present a major roadblock for the application of modern web technologies, such as HTML5 and CSS3.

From the user’s perspective, updating your browser makes sense on a number of levels, with cyber-security being one of the primary reasons. Up-to-date browsers are less vulnerable to viruses, spyware, malware, and a whole host of other security concerns. However, many IT departments in both small and large companies struggle with the idea of upgrading browsers, particularly if the company is using other outdated software that relies on these older browsers. Other times, browser upgrades may wait to be bundled with the next hardware upgrade. The end result is that users are often stuck with outdated browsers, despite the fact that scouring the web may be a critical part of their organization’s trademark and brand protection strategy.

A study by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), “Why Your Browser Matters” points out that more than 40% of Internet users worldwide are using outdated browsers. The OTA is working with major brands to equip web sites “to engage and educate their site visitors on the importance of upgrading their browser.” The organization has created a framework for leading consumer websites to create “teachable moments” for website visitors to raise awareness about the security, privacy, and performance risks associated with using outdated browsers.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer once was the most commonly used Internet browser. That’s not the case any more. Several other web browser brands have shown significant gains in popularity, including Google Chrome, which took over first place as the world’s most popular browser earlier this year. Explorer has maintained its lead position in the U.S., with 37% of the market, followed by Chrome in second place with 23%, and then Mozilla Firefox at 22% market share.

Other players in the market include Apple’s Safari, popular among iPhone and iPad users, and Opera, which has been around since the mid-90s and was the very first web browser for mobile phones.

In the end, the burden may fall on trademark practitioners to champion the need for a more modern web browser. The areas of trademark clearance and monitoring require the use of modern web browsing and web-based tools. Don’t let your organization wait until something adverse happens. Convince your IT department that your organization needs these tools to provide the best possible service to your company and clients.

Which web browser do you use most frequently? Tell us why you like it.

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