What is a Brand?
A brand consists of both tangible and intangible elements that define an entity’s unique identity and services. Intellectual property law plays a crucial role in creating and maintaining the value of a brand. Branding elements such as products offered and aspects of promotion, such as a logo, should be guarded by intellectual property laws to prevent their theft or misuse. In order to protect a brand, patents, copyrights, and trademarks can be helpful.
- In intellectual property law, a brand is defined as the tangible and intangible elements of an organization or other entity’s unique identity and product.
- Patents, copyrights, and trademarks can be used to protect a brand.
- You can seek advice from an intellectual property attorney regarding the best ways to safeguard your brand.
Intellectual property laws shield a variety of elements of brands. Some common trademarked elements include:
- Names: In order for a brand to be memorable and unique, its name is crucial. A brand like Google, which is one of the most recognizable in the world, comes to mind.
- Colors: Specific colors or color palettes can play a significant role in a brand. Trademarks are often used by companies to protect their go-to colors from competitors. Tiffany and Co., for example, trademarked its light blue branding color.
- Slogans: Some brands use distinctive messaging to make their products stand out. For instance, Nike has been promoting its trademarked “JUST DO IT” slogan for years.
- Symbols: Businesses may use certain logos or symbols as part of their branding. These symbols can be trademarked in order to prevent other companies from stealing them and profiting from them. As an example, Apple has trademarked their iconic symbol.
Protecting a Brand
Several tools and elements are contained in US intellectual property law that are useful in protecting a brand against infringement. A skilled intellectual property attorney can help implement some of these strategies, including:
- Registering Intellectual Property: It is not necessary to register all intellectual property with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but doing so proves ownership of your intellectual property to third parties, preventing counterfeiters from plagiarizing your work.
- Non-Disclosure Agreements: Is your brand or idea at risk of being stolen by your employees or partners? Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, are imperative in preventing others from stealing elements of your brand and profiting from them.
- Obtaining Global Protection: If you want international protection for your brand, you may want to consider registering your intellectual property in other countries. If you plan on growing your brand globally, you may want to research IP laws outside of the United States.
Creating a brand from scratch is not a simple task. Moreover, shielding that brand from infringement can seem even trickier. Fortunately, intellectual property attorneys specialize in just that: defending important elements of your brand from misuse or theft. In return for all the money and effort you've put into building your brand, you deserve protection for your intellectual property.