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Highlighting The Importance Of Brand Protection

Highlighting The Importance Of Brand Protection

A company’s brand can be one if its most valuable assets and its worth can often be overlooked.  But attitudes are changing and our clients are increasingly recognising the importance of protecting their brands.  It’s difficult not to notice the raft of recent activity, in particular, for trade mark infringement.  In the past, infringements might have gone unnoticed, but with an increasing online presence, spotting trade mark violations has never been easier.

A sign of success in a brand is evidenced when its name becomes a commonly adopted word to describe a type of product, such as to “Google” or “Escalator”.  But success without proper control brings with it the risk of genericism.  Efforts taken in building up a strong reputation in a product are lost when the word becomes a common expression used to describe a category of goods.  The word “Asprin” is a perfect example of how a brand name has become known as a type of medicine, rather than to encourage the public to associate the product with a particular manufacturer, as it was intended.  As soon as this happens, any protection found in a trade mark is lost.

The risk of genericism is proportionate to the strength of a brand:  the more widely available and popular a product is, the more vulnerable it is to erosion.  Like most things, prevention is better than cure.  Once a trade mark falls foul of this fate, the job of protecting it becomes almost impossible.

Colin Hulme
Partner

You can hear Colin discussing more about the importance of brand protection on Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme (broadcast on 16 January 2013 and available on the BBC website).

LChalmers