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Branding – building up business strength


Margaret Briffa

In a highly competitive market place brand strategy is something which designers need to take on board and plan for in their business.


Your brand can be protected by registered trade marks. A business that is doing well and growing will be relying on its distinctive name to draw customers to it. At this stage, if it has not done so already, a business should consider what registration it should acquire to secure that name exclusively.


A registered trade mark gives the owner the right to prevent others form starting a fashion business in the same field using the same name or one which is confusingly similar. This ability to prevent others trading on your goodwill and reputation is a highly useful business tool.


Further, in addition to the rights trade marks give you to preserve your exclusivity, registered trade marks are a valuable business asset as a commodity that you can trade with.  Registered trade marks have a determinate value. Once registered they can last indefinitely so long as renewal fees are paid every 10 years. They can be bought and sold as well as licensed. In the fashion industry business many wish to license their brands to businesses who can help them expand their offering into other areas such as accessories or perfume. Licensing your brand to a business that will manufacture goods in other sectors under your brand is a way of expanding the business using the expertise of another business while you focus on your core strength.

While registering trade marks is highly recommended it should be approached with a view to the overall plan for the business. The trade mark filing strategy fits the business plan. Trade marks are territorial and application needs to be made in all countries and in respect of all types of goods in which a business wants to be protected. Extensive filing programmes may be costly and the advice of an expert to help you get it right may be invaluable.


Margaret Briffa


Intellectual Property Lawyers


Affiliated law firm to Own It – Own It is part of the Creative London project. It provides education on intellectual property and free 45 minute advice sessions with Briffa lawyers. Many businesses have benefited from branding advice and assistance under the scheme. Further details are on www.own-it.org. 

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