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Brand Protection


It's important to protect your products from people copying them without your permission (counterfeiting) and branding them like your products. Counterfeit products:

Brand protection involves preventing unauthorised use of the brand and preventing any activity which could harm the brand's reputation.

Intellectual Property

The first step in brand protection is the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Intellectual property legislation is designed to protect creators (and creation owners) from others unfairly copying their creations. Some creations are automatically protected from copying whilst others require the owner to make a formal application with the relevant authorities. Here is a list of intellectual property protection and examples of creations covered by each type of protection.

Protection Type What Does it Protect? Protection Process Examples Of Things That Intellectual Property Protects


Copyright does not protect the idea, instead it protects the way an idea is recorded

Copyright protects something that is written (authorship), composed (music) or required artistic effort Copyright protection occurs automatically, you do not need to apply for it Copyright protects books, poems, song lyrics, musical compositions, films, dramas, photographs, sculptures, paintings and computer programmes
Trademark Trademarks protect something that identifies an organisation or person. In rare cases sounds, fragrances and colours have been registered as trademarks. Protection only occurs through a formal trademark application with the relevant authorities Trademarks protect shop signs, organisational Logos, product logos, brand Names and packaging design



Patents protect an invention, unique product or new process. Patents also cover identification of a new plant variety and DNA Mapping Protection only occurs through a formal trademark application with the relevant authorities Patents protect a variety of inventions and discoveries including machines, machine components, tools and medicines

Design Right

Design Right only applies in the United Kingdom

Design Right protects the shape and configuration of objects if the shape and configuration are original. Design right does not cover the surface decoration on an object Design Right Protection occurs automatically, you do not need to apply for it Design right protects fashion items such as clothing, toys, and digital images including video game characters

Registered Design (United Kingdom) or

Design Patent (United States) protects design features which give the product its unique appearance

Registered Design Protects the appearance of a product Registered Design Protection only occurs through a formal design protection application with the relevant authorities Registered design and design patent protects product shape, colour, pattern, decoration, packaging, lines and contours

Brand Protection Through Product Authentication

Some firms will add features to their products to help verify whether a product is a genuine product made by the manufacturer. Product authentication can be through tags on the product's packaging or tags inside the product itself. Packaging authentication includes QR codes which can be scanned for verification whilst tags may be added to food products, pharmaceutical products and fuel to test whether the product is from the manufacturer and/or whether anybody has tampered with it.

Brand Protection Through Measurement and Testing

Firms practising brand protection will ensure their products can be traced and identified through each stage of the supply chain. Barcodes, unique product numbers and product authenticity tags (mentioned in part 1) help firms trace each of their products through every stage of the manufacturing and supply chain process. Product identification methods allow firms to remove fake products, identify vulnerable areas in the supply chain and prevent future recurrences.

Brand Protection Through Product Licensing and Royalties

To maximise a brand's potential, brand owners may grant others permission to use their brand through a product licence. For example The Walt Disney Company licence (grant permission ) third parties to use their branded creations (e.g. characters from the film Frozen, Winnie the Pooh, or Mickey Mouse) on a range of merchandise.

Disney grant so many licenses that they have a specific part of the company (Disney Consumer Products https://www.disneyconsumerproducts.com ) responsible for license management.

Product licences allow brand owners to extend their brand through third parties in a controlled manner. Product licenses stipulate who will use the brand, how the brand will be used, where it will be used, and for how long. In addition to extending and protecting brands, licenses also generate extra revenue for brand owners through fees and royalties.


Continue onto page 2 for further information about brand protection through supply chain management, production line management, specialist firms and government agencies .

Brand Protection Part Two


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