Plagiarism and other forms of brand abuse can do irreparable damage to a business, whether you value the brand, are design focused, or even product innovators.
Unfortunately, an inspired product that sells well is going to lead to counterfeits being made or designs used without your consent, bringing down the value of your product overall. Because of this, it’s clear that not having the proper brand protection in place can lead to massive losses both financially and in the time you have dedicated to building your brand.
Having brand protection online helps to secure your intellectual property this can prevent these matters from occurring and stop them if they do.
What is brand protection in the UK?
In order to protect a brand from plagiarism, counterfeits, copyright pirates, infringers, and other threats, it’s crucial that you use the proper brand protection. Brand protection provides businesses with security in order to prevent the loss of revenue and damage to the brand’s reputation caused by brand abuse.
To put it simply, brand protection is the process and actions taken to safeguard a business’s intellectual property. This may include but is not limited to…
- Design rights
- Colour marks
- Brand logos
- Product names
The different types of brand infringement
There are many different types of brand infringement that you will need to be aware of in order to identify threats and protect your IP moving forward.
This is one of the most common forms of brand infringement. Counterfeiting is when your products or ideas are manufactured and distributed without your consent. These products are often referred to as knock offs or fakes, but because of the low prices, many potential customers are likely to purchase them.
Copyright infringement is the process of copying, performing, displaying, or distributing any works that have been protected by copyright laws. This generally refers to original and creative works like a painting, a piece of music, or video.
If your goods/services have been used without your permission, it is called trademark infringement. This mainly included things that identify your brand, such as your logo, phrases or even images.
When your patented product is made or sold without your consent, it is considered patent theft or patent infringement.
Design infringement is a lot like patent theft in that it involves the making of products using your original patented design. This design, however, is altered to create something slightly different. Design infringement can be a huge problem for designers, especially in areas like the fashion industry.
Why brand protection in the UK is so important?
The consequences of counterfeiting, plagiarism and other forms of brand abuse can be incredibly severe. It can damage your brand image, profits, and much more.
For example, without adequate online brand protection, you should look out for…
- A drop in sales. Counterfeit products sold cheaply online can take away a huge number of sales from your business.
- Damage to your reputation. Having a positive brand image is one of the best ways to gain new customers and retain their business long term. If your brand’s name, logo, etc, are being used by illegitimate businesses selling low quality products, you may lose potential customers or find your existing customers no longer trust your services.
- Financial losses from fighting counterfeit. If someone has copied your intellectual property and you do not have brand protection, the cost of lawyers, time, and resources, you will need to spend in order to minimise the damage can be immense.
- Loss of trust. Your customers, distributors, employees, and partners can all lose trust in your brand in the event of brand abuse. They may see a cheaper product and wonder why yours costs so much more or simply doubt your ability to protect your assets and ideas.
If you want to avoid damage to your brand, you should strongly consider brand protection.
How does brand protection work?
Brand protection provider’s work to secure your IP and help you to safeguard your brand from potential threats. In order to do this, they start by focusing on four key areas, which include…
- Detection. Finding online infringements, for example, a social media profile impersonating your brand.
- Validation. Making sure that you are targeting infringements and not making a mistake based on assumptions.
- Enforcement. Removing the IP infringements, this may include removing a fake website or stopping counterfeit products from being sold online.
- Reporting. Providing your business with actionable information regarding your IP in order to improve and protect your property.
There are many different ways brand protection can be achieved, many of which use software like keyword monitoring, spart user experience, etc.
Ways to protect your brand
If you are looking for ways to protect your brand, a solicitor can provide the information and expertise to help you make the right choices for your business, as well as help you manage a crisis if it arises.
You may benefit from different types of brand protection, for example…
- Non-disclosure agreements
- Gathering all of the variations of your brand’s domains
- Carefully monitoring your competition
- Registering your intellectual property
- Copyright ownership and protection
- Confidentiality agreements
- Registering patents
- Responding and taking action against infringement