After carefully developing an idea for a marketable product or service, many startups and entrepreneurs immediately name it with little thought as to the legal effect of the name chosen. Selecting the brand name of a product or service is an important decision having both marketing and legal implications. A failure to understand and accommodate those implications can expose a new venture to increased marketing costs and legal exposure that few emerging businesses are prepared to bear.
The reform should make it easier for victims of Internet defamation to recover for damages resulting from such conduct. Federal law provides a broad immunity for website operators that publish statements crafted by third-parties, so a victim of Internet defamation typically has no recourse except against the individual posters who created the content. Most of those posters post anonymously, so plaintiffs have to engage in some sleuthing to discover their identities within the year provided to bring suit. Virginia's new law gives those plaintiffs some breathing room, as long as they are diligent.