Brand Protection Toolkit

Resources designed to help counsel identify and manage the acquisition, protection, licensing and enforcement of trademarks and other brand assets.

Practical Law Intellectual Property & Technology

A company’s brands are often among its most valuable assets, as they:

  • Embody its reputation.

  • Distinguish its goods or services from those of competitors.

  • Signify the consistent quality of those goods or services to consumers.

Well-protected brands can give companies a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace and create important goodwill with their customers. Central to developing and maintaining strong, protected brands is the proper acquisition, maintenance, exploitation and enforcement of a company’s trademarks and other intellectual property.

The internet age and the expanding use of social media as a way to advertise and promote brands present enormous business opportunities but also significant challenges for protecting brands from misuse and reputational damage, including through acts of company employees and third parties. Given the business and competitive importance of brands, companies should maintain a robust program covering all facets of brand protection, including:

  • Selecting, clearing, registering, and maintaining strong and protectable trademarks.

  • Ensuring proper use of company trademarks by employees and third parties.

  • Implementing appropriate policies and procedures to protect company brands in the social media context.

  • Developing programs to protect company trademarks against counterfeiting and gray market activities.

  • Identifying and taking appropriate action against third parties that infringe or misuse a company’s trademarks and other intellectual property, including cyberpiracy and other online abuse.

  • Managing internet domain names.

  • Licensing company trademarks with appropriate quality control and other protections.

Failing to take appropriate actions in these areas can have serious adverse consequences for a company, including:

  • Selecting inherently weak brand names with a narrow scope of trademark protection, or no scope of protection at all.

  • Adopting trademarks that violate a third party’s rights and, as a result, exposing the company to injunctive relief and monetary damages.

  • Limiting available legal rights and remedies where another party misuses the company’s intellectual property.

  • Loss of trademark rights, allowing competitors to adopt the marks for their own goods or services.

  • Loss of control over brand reputation.

The Brand Protection Toolkit provides a number of continuously maintained resources designed to help counsel identify and manage the acquisition, protection, licensing, and enforcement of trademarks and other brand assets.

 

Brand Basics

 

Creating and Acquiring Brands

 

Proper Brand Use

 

Enforcing Brands

 

Trademark Transactions

 
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