Brand protection is more than playing defense. It requires affirmative steps to protect your brands from attack and to build their strength for the times when you must go on the offensive. To succeed, you must understand the value of brand assets, and how they are used in each business.
If you have brand assets, you need a brand protection plan. Creating it is a straightforward process.
The bones of a brand protection plan are:
- Use and licensing
Education is key to implementing a successful brand protection plan. The first step is helping clients to select a brand that can have maximum protection (or helping them accept lesser protection with an understanding of the risks and benefits). Brand selection is the critical first step, and affects the cost and timing of all the remaining steps in the process.
At Pattishall, we have years of experience helping clients select the right brand.
The clearance process may involve a national search, or searching in jurisdictions throughout the world, to determine whether someone already owns a similar brand. Expenses for this process can get out of hand unless clients understand the costs per country and the timing involved. Clear communication helps clients decide on the right clearance process for them.
If the clearance process shows that the brand is not available, all is not lost. We may be able to offer options like canceling a prior registration or purchasing it. At Pattishall, we have been helping clients achieve their brand goals for more than a century.
Over the years, we’ve built extensive contacts with many of the best counsel in foreign countries. This creates a kind of international IP army for our clients, and through us they can gain access to a network of many of the best brand lawyers in the world.
Companies typically watch the costs of the registration process closely. The more distinctive the brand, the less the registration costs are likely to be. Nonetheless, issues often are raised by the registering entity that need to be resolved. At Pattishall, we have experienced attorneys to help you obtain a favorable result in the registration arena.
Use and Licensing
If you don’t use your brand correctly, you may lose it. We can help you plan and execute brand use seminars, and set up systems to help establish and maintain proper use. In-house counsel find this service invaluable in guiding their clients, and in reducing the number of telephone calls and emails they receive.
Proper licensing is also critical to creating and growing the value of intellectual property rights. We’ve helped many clients design and revamp highly successful IP licensing systems.
Enforcing your IP rights is critical. A strong enforcement program, involving both negotiation and litigation, preserves and strengthens your brands in many ways. It discourages encroachers, and reduces the risk of the brand becoming generic or diluted.
You should not limit your enforcement efforts to major problems. Consistent enforcement efforts create a strong record to warn away would-be infringers and support difficult litigation. We provide a consistent strategy for many clients with well-known, valuable brands.
A major component of enforcement is fighting counterfeit and gray market goods. Our in-depth knowledge of civil seizures and strong relationships with Customs agencies-in the U.S. and other countries-as well as with local law enforcement, are invaluable in helping clients move quickly against counterfeiters and counterfeit goods.
Your brand protection plan may include:
- Internet use and protection
- Package and product design protection
- The right of publicity
- Interaction with copyright, patents and trade secrets.
Pattishall attorneys have experience implementing brand protection plans in a wide variety of businesses and industries. Clients have found that such plans save money in the long run, because it is cheaper to systematically protect a brand than to defend it in litigation on an ad hoc basis. Let us help you develop a brand protection plan for your business.