What is real
is not external form.”
Today, companies are looking to get closer to the end customer in order to establish a connection between the products sold and him, to retain him and to obviously generate a higher revenue. Depending on the positioning and the targeted audience, every company builds a marketing strategy that will support its sales policy in the future.
Marketing is directed at people, and the need to attract them brings in some of the most unique ideas from companies. This is all the more so when the attention is aimed to the young audience whose needs are constantly changing. The key terms in this case are: innovative, creative, crazy, childish, hip. Ideas are created around them that turn into brands or trademarks. And that’s when things can get complicated.
As with any trademark or brand, it is necessary to register them in accordance with the law in force, and for this procedure to go smoothly, the company must ensure those specific brands or trademarks are not already registered or similar with those of another company.
A specific example
P&G, a consumer goods giant, has decided to turn its attention to millennials, which are currently trendsetters in terms of market rules. To capture their interest, the company came up with the idea of using popular acronyms among them in social media, in an unprecedented way. Specifically, they named a range of products after these abbreviations: OMG, LOL, NBD. In order to be able to use them and avoid another company taking advantage of their idea, P&G applied to register these terms as trademarks.
Not surprisingly, the company has discovered that there are multiple previous trademark registrations that contain some of the abbreviations they wanted to use. Just to name a few, there are 483 records containing the abbreviation OMG in the US Patent and Trademark Office database, and no less than 177 such records are found in the European Union equivalent database.
In this case, the company could only use these trademarks by signing trademark license agreements. Thus, temporary and similar to a loan, they could obtain the right to use a trademark that has another owner. One such trademark can only be used for a specific type of product, for an agreed period of time and within a set territory.
As expected, this procedure solves the problem only temporarily, and is not at all comparable to what would mean owning the fully rights of the trademark by the company.
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