Businesses need to take the issue of brand protection seriously.
For many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the internet is becoming an increasingly important part of their strategy. As such, they need to make sure they are not infringing anyone’s intellectual property (IP) and that their own IP is well looked after.
Philip Heuzenroeder, principal at Spruson & Ferguson Lawyers, told the Sydney Morning Herald that no firm should launch a brand before checking that someone else is not using it, as then the “whole thing could fall in a heap on day two when somebody becomes aware of your use if they have their own protection”.
Companies are starting to appreciate the value in registering trademarks such as business names and logos and the key is to act early. This means they should always carry out some searches before pursuing a particular brand.
“Checking that others don’t already own the IP should be part of any planning for a new product or brand and is a step along the path to a company securing the IP for itself, if it’s not already owned by someone else,” according to the news provider.
David Kennedy, a partner at law firm CBP, said to the paper that firms will ultimately damage their position if they fail to be decisive. This is why safeguarding trademarks, patents, registered designs and domain names is so important.
In recent times, there have been a lot of changes to the IP realm, such as the rise in social media, the introduction of the adults-only .xxx domain extension and the new generic top-level domain applicant list announced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
This means that brand protection has become more important than ever, as firms have to make sure they are in a position to thrive in the new environment.
Pre- and post-launch, SMEs should be putting the necessary checks in place so there are no problems with infringement.
Read more about brand protection from the latest Trademark, Brands & The Internet Magazine article by CSC’s Vice President Mark Calandra.