Why Fuse Brand Creation With Brand Protection

 


Shireen Smith 

 

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Introduction

Having seen the problems that arise when the interplay between brand and intellectual property is misunderstood. I want to cross the chasm that actually exists between the worlds of branding and brand protection to explain IP in the context of brand creation.

Show Notes

Even if somebody isn't going to be choosing names for their clients, they would benefit from understanding the legal aspects of naming to be able to guide their clients
The fact is that IP is intrinsic to business. It's not just a legal subject to be left to the lawyers. It's naive to assume that your designer or marketer knows all the key information they need to know about IP to advise you. At the moment, service providers have to pick up the knowledge they need as they go. 

As IP tends to be quite nuanced. It happens all too often that it's misunderstood. It's one topic where a little knowledge is quite a dangerous thing. My aim with the book is to give a holistic view of how to bring the worlds of brand creation and brand protection together, so you can get the best outcome from branding. The book isn't aiming to tell you how to design and create your brand. If that's your end goal, in terms of having a DIY type book, then reading my book on branding would be advisable to do fast because it gives you the roadmap to understand what's involved to create a brand and build it, it gives you the full picture about all the decisions that you are going to need to make along the way. 

You have to be guided by the law in what you create, you need to also understand what the law has to say about these rights, and how to secure your ownership. Just as when you see a plot of land that you want to buy, you would first buy it and then build on it. So with IP, you should do some checks to establish whether you can have your desired name or symbol. And if so, first, kind of buy the rights to the name. That is by registering a trademark before building your brand or creating logos around that name. 

Now in countries like the UK and EU, it's more important to do the checks to assess the risks before applying to register a trademark. That's because it's possible to register exactly the same name as someone else has already trademarked. You're then vulnerable to having your trademark cancelled. I see many problems people face through not knowing how to combine brand creation with brand protection thinking they can get really stuck not knowing how to move forward with their plans. So say for example, you want to launch a website or course on a podcast. 

For example, should you use your own name for the website and if so, why? The general advice out there is to build your personal brand, but you may not have one yet and may wonder whether it would be better to use your business name, or should you use a descriptive keyword rich domain name, you then come up against the other issues, what top level domains to use if the.com isn't available, or is too expensive to buy? If it's available at a price should you spend the money to secure it, and sometimes people even intend to use different domain names several different domain names. 

The answers to questions that you're not even aware you need to ask, although more and more people are running their own businesses nowadays, according to the statistics from the UK Government, most SMEs do not last longer than 10 years. Judging by the cases, I see some of them fail because they had made a key IP mistake, or there are just too many that you could make in terms of mistakes. So knowing which ones to avoid can be quite difficult for people, I can't just say Oh, avoid x, y, Zed, and then you're done. So I'm keen to impact those figures with this book. 

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