We have selected seven of the most common branding mistakes entrepreneurs make in our legal practice. We focused mainly on activities related to brand creation, logo creation, branding strategy and online marketing. Based on them, we try to point out the importance of the connection between the client’s marketing and the legal protection of the client’s intellectual property .
Building a brand without a lawyer
One of the most common problems with marketing consulting is the lack of a legal perspective. Marketing agencies often make a strict distinction between building a brand for a client and legally protecting their client’s brand. Legal protection is foreign to them and not part of their agenda, so they often end up helping a client build a brand that may have excellent marketing potential, but could spell disaster for the client from a legal point of view.
Brand marketing and legal brand protection must go hand in hand from the very beginning of brand building . If the legal protection of the brand is not caught at its birth, it may happen that the client invests considerable funds in building a brand that infringes the rights of others and will later have to give up such a brand.
It only depends on the marketing potential of the brand
The first recommendation is related to the appropriate choice of the wording of the brand or the image of the logo not only from the point of view of marketing potential, but also from the point of view of a possible collision with the rights of third parties. Failure to assess the brand from the point of view of the conflict of earlier rights, at least through a qualified search for earlier registered marks in the trademark registers, may result in a dispute between the client and the owners of earlier trademarks.
Research on the earlier rights of third parties even before finalizing the wording of the brand or the image of the logo is just as important for the success of the client’s brand as marketing analysis .
A small brand difference is enough
Many startups, as well as already established businesses, have already been burned by this argument. A conflict between two brands can, and often does, occur even with less interchangeability. In other words, if you add one or two letters and some visual element to an already existing brand and build your brand on it, you will probably sooner or later receive a pre-suit challenge from the owner of this earlier brand. It may be parasitism on reputation or other anti-competitive behavior.
A trademark is not registered at the start of a business
Finances are very important at the start of a business, but the legal protection of a brand usually costs only a fraction of what the client invests in marketing. By obtaining a trademark for his brand in time, the client can gain a competitive advantage and avoid many inconveniences in the future.
The trademark is a guarantee of complete protection of the brand
Real care for the legal protection of a brand does not end with the registration of the trademark in the register, quite the opposite. The most important part begins with the registration of the stamp – active stamp protection, which can be ensured by regular monitoring of stamp registers. Thanks to monitoring, the owner of the brand can find out in time about violators of his rights and react to these violations in time.
A slight domain difference is enough
When choosing a domain, it is important to analyze its interchangeability with other domains and also with registered trademarks. Therefore, it is not enough to evaluate only a complete match, but a collision can also occur with minor interchangeability of words or other elements.