We love IP … and believe, passionately, in protecting all aspects, far and wide.
Statistics heralding the fact that businesses which recognise, and register IP, grow faster and further than those which don’t, are mentioned frequently with corresponding proof. And from our point of view, defending brands online from IP threats – such as counterfeit or copycat product or fake websites – what we can do to help does depend, in the main, on registered IP such as trademarks or design rights.
Copyright, an unregistered right, is automatic – and highly defendable – so we will always defend your copyright (if you ask us to!) but there is absolutely no doubt that trademarks, in particular, can be worth their weight in gold when defending your brand, your reputation and your revenues. To say nothing of being able to keep your customers safe.
Taking into consideration, as a naïve example, the cost of perhaps creating a product … but not registering the trademark – even in your home market. Trademark registrations are not expensive by comparison to product creation. In the UK (and it is British IP Day after all) – the official online fees for registration start at £170. Granted costs of developing the look and feel of the brand itself, and you may wish to register in more than one category but … consider being ‘ripped off’ on a major ecommerce platform. ‘Your brand’ for sale, from someone else perhaps claiming ‘direct from the factory’, slightly cheaper than your website but near enough in price to con your potential customers – and – probably using your images (illegally). Within minutes, this fraudster can have made thousands of pounds worth of sales … and while copyright will prevent them using your words and images, the misuse of your name/brand is infinitely harder (and slower) to defend without a registered trademark behind you. With a registered trademark to defend a brand, we frequently implement, and see, the removal of illicit listings in less than five minutes.
For some international marketplaces you don’t even have to have your trademark registered in that territory – so you can use your trusty UK-registered IP to defend yourself on Alibaba, for example. And given the volumes of counterfeit product frequently seen for sale this is seriously useful and helpful.
Great sources of free advice include the IPO (start with the Health Check), and the British Library runs great free sessions on IP too … what’s not to love … free to start with and worth as much, if not more than gold, in the future.
Happy IP Day one and all.