How are brands protected globally?
In the information age, companies have the ability to reach potential consumers worldwide through social media, email campaigns, and Internet marketing, as well as through traditional marketing channels. However, opportunistic and unscrupulous people use many of these same tools to sell counterfeit goods and trade on the good names and strong brands of others. And because these people can operate from anywhere in the world, global brand protection must be central to a company’s legal and marketing strategy.
Importance of Global Brand Protection
The primary focus of global brand protection is to ensure that a company’s important trademarks are adequately protected in key international jurisdictions. But company and product names are not the only trademarks that should be protected. Companies should also protect their logos, packaging “look and feel”, and perhaps even their product designs.
Although most nations have laws protecting intellectual property, companies must take the initiative to protect and enforce their brands if they want the benefit of those laws.
Elements of Protecting Brands Globally
Although the appropriate strategy for a given company will vary based on their specific needs, global brand protection involves two important steps: first, intellectual property protection, and then enforcement.
Companies must protect their Intellectual property protection by direct or indirect means, and should employ both in their intellectual property protection strategy.
Direct intellectual property protection involves using contracts with vendors, distributors, licensees, and customers to define and protect the intellectual property rights of the company.
Indirect intellectual property protection involves taking advantage of foreign laws regarding trademark registration and industrial design registration to protect a company’s brands against infringement by anyone else.
The next step of global brand protection is enforcement of those protections. Enforcement involves policing the Internet and social media outlets for infringing products and improper use of a company’s brands.
Once possible infringement is discovered, companies must take quick and decisive action against the infringers. Enforcement actions can include sending “cease & desist” letters, making take-down demands to ISPs, social media sites or online stores, as well as initiating litigation.
Global Brand Protection Attorney
Because global brand protection is critical to a company’s overall business and marketing strategy, companies should consult with a seasoned global brand protection attorney with experience in protecting and enforcing trademark rights in foreign countries.
The global brand protection attorney team at Klemchuk LLP regularly assists clients with protection and enforcement of brands and other intellectual property throughout the world.
Trademark Legal Services
Our trademark attorneys offer comprehensive trademark and brand development services including:
See our Trademark Registration Process for an overview of the trademark process from a search through registration of a trademark. See also our Trademark Cost & Pricing Options for a discussion of how much a trademark costs and how we bill for our services.
See our Legal FAQs page for the answers to more intellectual property law questions.