International Branding Campaign Page 1 of 5

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The Devil is in the Details:

Suggestions for a Successful and Affordable International Branding Campaign

Scott Slavick

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione

In today’s difficult economic environment, if your company is fortunate enough to be embarking on a large international trademark filing campaign, you should consider each of the following suggestions in order to make that filing as successful and affordable as possible. If you follow these suggestions, you will lower your prosecution costs while at the same time effectively broadening the scope of your trademark protection worldwide.

Typically, before a company begins filing a trademark on a worldwide basis, a great deal of time, money and effort goes into selecting the proposed trademark. While it may be exciting to conduct an in-house contest to select the new brand or intellectually stimulating to work with a hired brand consultant to meet with your corporate higher-ups to discuss the feelings and thoughts to be evoked by the soon-to-be created brand, you could save a great deal of time and therefore a great deal of money by first, examining your company’s existing brands.

Does your company have any brands that it is already using on a limited basis that you think you might want to expand the use of? For example, is your company using a brand on one type of limited product, but it perhaps it could select that brand to serve as the new international trademark? It may be far more cost-effective to expand the use of an existing brand than to pay someone to devise a new mark for you from scratch. Brand consultants, if they even cost a dollar (and trust me they cost more than a dollar), will cost your company one dollar more than simply using and expanding upon a mark your company already owns.

An added bonus is that through your company’s previous use of this brand, you typically already know that the existing brand is clear of infringements because you have been using it for a while and if it were infringing someone you probably would have already learned of it. So make sure to review what your company already owns before spending a great deal of time and money creating a brand from whole cloth. Perhaps there is a mark that your company has not registered yet but that your company has been using for a few years. Those count as well.

Or, perhaps your company wants to resurrect one of its historic brands. You know the one that was popular in the 1970’s but that has taken on a slightly lower profile over the last thirty years as marketing tastes have changed. It is the brand that you are always worried about going abandoned because its use has markedly dropped off. It is also that mark that you know the CEO would be really upset if one of your competitors started using it even if your company does not use it anymore. That could be the mark to resurrect as your new international trademark. The message – check internally before you


CONTINUED ….. Part 2

Suggestions for a Successful and Affordable International Branding Campaign

by  Scott Slavick, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione


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