How to Protect a Brand and Creative Output

24 June 2010

I was asked by a business support agency to draft a patent, design, copyright or trade mark assignment for an advertising agency. After calling the person in charge of the agency I leaned that it really needed some advice on protecting its investment in branding and creative output.

The agency distributed a newsletter to several and thousand homes and put it on display at retail outlets, restaurants, hairdressers, doctors and dentists’ surgeries and other points.  The agency wanted to protect its corporate name and strapline, the content of its newsletter and the domain name and content of its website.

In a written advice, I explained the law of trade marks and passing off and outlined the procedure for applying for a trade mark.   I referred the agency to the websites of CIPA and ITMA and gave it the names of three local patent and trade mark attorneys.

I also explained the law of copyright and advised it how to apply for domain name emphasizing the importance of registered trade marks in ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service.

Finally, I pointed out that with some trivial exceptions intellectual property rights have to be enforced by the proprietor and not by some third party such as the Crown Prosecution Service or trading standard’s officers. I stressed the expense of litigation, the rule that costs follow the event in the UK and set out the steps that it could take to manage those risks and costs.