Adjective and compound noun.
The legally minded and commercially driven approach to making the difficult to define impossible to steal.
Anti-counterfeitingCounterfeit product is a problem for any company - top line sales, customer confidence in the brand and business confidence in the legal function all take a hit.
Customs recordals, watching and monitoring platforms alone aren't effective and issues can escalate if bad actors recognise the lack of effective enforcement.
Starting with Customs recordals, we layer on our online brand enforcement packages - but we don't stop there:
We build a strategy with Brand Intelligence that addresses the cause and mitigates the symptoms. It gets the results you need, the way you need them.
Talk to us about:
- Balancing the standardisation and tailoring of detailed monitoring.
- Our packages - sweeps of online market places, relationships with trading standards and law enforcement, co-ordination of customs activities, our own investigators, cease and desist programmes, and civil enforcement.
Brand IntelligenceEvidence is about quality over quantity. If you can't find the responsible party, you cannot implement any enforcement tactics.
Investigators play a key role in evidence gathering. However, their endeavours, if poorly directed, can put brand enforcement at risk or cause a road block on a case.
We built our own team of highly capable experts with years of relevant experience - operating from the depths of the dark web to the streets of UK&I and beyond - strategically deployed to give our clients a smart advantage
Talk to us about:
- Root-cause analysis by the most proficient cyber crime experts - identifying the issue at hand.
- Gathering real-world hard evidence by covertly engaging with the targets. Evidence that can be put before international law enforcement bodies and the courts.
Brand LicensingLicensing has the opportunity to bring high-margin income, improve scope of reputation, IP protection and increase the value of the biggest asset owned by the company.
Sounds amazing? But clients are often scared to pursue. Why?
- Licensing represents a big departure from the core activity of the business that traditionally seeks to minimise risk to the brand
- There are all these new people - agents, commercial lawyers - can they be trusted?
- Each of the potential opportunities involves costs, but no guarantees
- Strategic brand consultancy - including brand creation, rights creation and management, enforcement activities
- Delivery of brand licencing - finding the right partner
- Commercial services associated with these deals
- Royalty audit and collection
CommercialWhen relationships turn sour, reputations suffer.
Be it a distributor letting down customers, or licencees producing substandard products, it's the brand owner that takes the hit.
The sickener is:
- when you end up in court, because your contract is so ambiguous that it takes a judgement to decide where the fault lies, and
- you need to cough up the costs associated with updating this standard form contract with all your downstream partners.
As poachers turned gamekeepers, they are specialised in finding contract loopholes and devising legal arguments to avoid contractual terms.
Talk to us about:
- Contracts that minimise risk and anticipate potential disputes
- Auditing existing contracts (especially the pivotal ones) to reveal anomalies / issues - and closing those loopholes before they are exploited to your cost
Designs and CopyrightSo often overlooked, but the design industry is massive and growing - representing £101bn to the UK in 2018 (DCMS 2019).
Getting this wrong risks serious issues for brands:
- Questions of ownership
- Loss of control
All of our attorneys have expertise in this space - and will recommend proactive measures to prevent issues arising.
We get the most of IP related to creative materials management - that supports clients realise the potential of their brands.
DisputesToo many companies shy away from disputes, often because of the potential cost and time involved.
However, avoiding conflict can undermine the scope of IP rights, and even restrict disputes management in the future.
We listen and act on what you care about, we evaluate the landscape of your assets, and we press where we have the most leverage.
Talk to us about a programme of enforcement that is:
- Key to a strong intangible asset management strategy, and
- Essential to maintaining the strength, health and value of a brand
- Not as expensive as you think
DomainsDomains should be straightforward - they are cheap and easy to register. But without strict management, you risk unchecked proliferation and a host of resulting issues:
- Domain is created, but the individual exits the business, and active management is lost
- Internal conflict about who has responsibility for what?
- Domains become valuable, and disputes become important
Talk to us about:
- Creating a single platform for your domains, trade marks and designs
- Your strategy - what domains to register and how to manage them
- Getting the right outcome with infringements - approaching the company anonymously, negotiating with them or taking a more formal route
LitigationLitigation should drive profit, not spiral costs.
Clients shy away from litigation because of uncertainty on the outcome, associated legal fees and management time involved.
But why go to all the effort of building and investing in your brand, if you are not prepared to enforce your rights effectively?
Litigation is a vital part of realising your brand strategy - knowing when to escalate, and when it's not worth your while.
The perceived risks of litigation can be managed. Talk to us about how to:
- Prioritise cases - avoiding long running disputes and excessive management time Use streamlined approaches provided by IPEC and the Shorter Trial Scheme De-risk your fees - using (1) our charging structure options and (2) insurance products covering adverse outcomes
Online Brand EnforcementThe amount of counterfeiting globally reached 1.2 trillion USD in 20171 with 2/3rds2 from China.
If you don't think you have a counterfeiting problem, it's more likely you just haven't found it yet.
Counterfeiting and online infringement doesn't just put a dent in your sales, but also your brand.
How would you feel about a brand if:
- A counterfeit product you'd bought in good faith caused injury or damage?
- By accidently transacting on a fake site, your bank details were phished and your bank account was emptied?
In today's online environment, with so many potential risks, you can't rely on manual interventions or outsourced platforms to solve the problem.
Don't just keep plugging the holes, talk to us about a strategic and systematic solution that fixes the issues permanently.
² OECD report (2016)
TrademarksWe've worked with over 1,000 clients since we started in 2013 - from multi-national to start-up.
The complaint we hear most from clients about their providers is that their advice isn’t strategic, it's reactive, and only offers ad-hoc and piecemeal options rather than solutions.
Without strategy, there's no clarity on how to prioritise what should be owned and what enforcement actions to take.
This carries massive risk for the company:
- Could be wasting money by investing in renewing marks in non-core territories, or filing oppositions in jurisdictions they don't care about
- Becoming embroiled in an infringement case that needn't have been initiated
Strategy is so important to us, that we'll help create this as part of our engagement with you.
We handle all aspects of trademark work - from clearance, filing, managing rights and a lot more besides.
We strive to be your outsourced experts about all things trademark and brand.
ValuationCompared to other company assets, the ratio of investment vs. value for intangible assets is minuscule.
But we know that intangible assets are increasingly valuable in modern businesses.
But when valuations are only performed event-driven (e.g. as part of deals, acquisitions or tax planning), you are never in a position to make proportionate decisions on investment.
Inability to justify expenditure on intangible assets limits the management, growth of value and reputation of your brand - stunting your activities in brand management, campaign development, and pursuing licensing opportunities.
Talk to us about:
- Forensically monitoring and measuring the value of your brand, allowing you to make good informed and consistent decisions vs. other areas of the business
- Providing expert witness evidence in the context of brand licensing disputes.
- How our team of RICS Chartered Valuation Surveyors can support your business