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Brand glitz & trademark traps: How to stay on the right side of the law when dealing with trademarks and licenses

11.12.2018 11:26 Uhr PSI
Marken-Lizenzen-Merchandising | Marken-Lizenzen-Merchandising

Marken-Lizenzen-Merchandising

The creation of brands and trademarks requires skills, including financial ones. So does safeguarding them in the market. Doing licensing business with the most popular ones, meanwhile, is an art of its own. That’s why licensing & merchandising is a perennial issue for the promotional products industry, too.

The creation of brands and trademarks requires skills, including financial ones. So does safeguarding them in the market. Doing licensing business with the most popular ones, meanwhile, is an art of its own. That’s why licensing & merchandising is a perennial issue for the promotional products industry, too.

But not a simple one, it should be noted right at the outset. At first glance, this seems to be a rewarding topic. Only if you take a closer look do you realise that the “playing field” of licensing & merchandising players is no terrain for amateurs or gamblers.

An excellent time to observe this dynamic is during recurring sports events like football championships or Olympic Games, to pick just two examples. More than a few licensees have overstretched themselves financially with licenses and sub-licenses – leading to bankruptcy for some. The promotional products industry knows a few examples of its own.

Brand development and trademark law

It’s a difficult terrain, which no one should attempt to conquer without the appropriate expertise. On the other hand: in a world that’s become more complex, entrepreneurs should have enough foundational brand development and trademark law know-how to avoid getting trapped in one of the many pitfalls surrounding the issue. Which could have really bad, or at least unpleasant, consequences.

That’s why the Marketing Innovations Forum in Hall 12.1 H52 in January 2019 will offer a whole series of brand-focussed presentations by experienced speakers, with licensing & merchandising being one of the most important sections.

Brands and license marketing

What does a brand need for license marketing to make sense? That’s the question posed by Peter Bichler, managing director of Hamburg-based Lizenzwerft GmbH. He has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and in the licensing industry, including at Warner Bros. Pictures and on the Advisory Board of the German licensing association LIMA.

Sales increases don’t fall from the sky. Expanding your own competence can be an effective way to convince distributors and consumers of the value of new products and services. Brands increasingly make waves with line extensions and open themselves up to the licensing market. What requirements must be met, what are the reasons and where are the opportunities? Peter Bichler knows the answers.

Legal pitfalls in licensing

Licensing agreements are key building blocks of any license marketing strategy. But what aspects must be considered when negotiating and executing licensing agreements? The use of trademarks, characters and celebrities in the licensing industry follows standard rules and conventions.

These are regularly stipulated in voluminous licensing agreements that are so hard to read, it’s a challenge just to plod through them. In his brief lecture, the Hamburg-based lawyer Tobias Bier will present an overview of the most common pitfalls and negotiating approaches included in most licensing agreements of this type.

A lawyer specialised in industrial property protection, he knows what he’s talking about. After all, he’s advised and represented licensees and licensors for about 15 years. Before that, he worked as a legal adviser for an international online service. Currently, he’s a partner at the law firm BBS Rechtsanwälte in Hamburg, which specialises in everything to do with industrial property (patents, trademarks, designs, competition law), copyright, media, IT and privacy protection law.

Trademarks and designs on the Internet

Many entrepreneurs could complain endlessly about how easy it is to violate trademark rights. Trademark and design rights are important property rights for the promotional products industry, too. They’re an inexpensive way to protect most advertising ideas.

Lots of companies these days try to protect their names by searching the Internet before using them. But trademark law is more complicated. Beyond just names, sound and image similarities can also be classified as trademark violations.

Meaningful Internet research conducted ahead of time in a legally competent way can serve as a remedy. Eberhard Kübel will be demonstrating how that works. An industrial engineer by trade, he’s worked on promoting innovative projects for more than 30 years, providing, among other things, advise on property rights (are a product idea or a process new?) and the knowledge of what kind of public funds are available to support such projects. His presentation is based on his real-world experience with approximately 8,000 searches and about 400 publicly funded projects he’s supported.

Stylish! Positioned! Loud!

Special trademark types are conquering the world of advertising, all of them aimed at offering the best-possible, innovative protection of products and services against competitors. As a result, new protectable trademark types have emerged, including position trademarks, sound trademarks and three-dimensional trademarks.

This opens up a whole new set of possibilities for the promotional products industry, as well. Stefanie Mach, a lawyer from Pulheim, knows all about that, and she’ll share insights into these special types of trademarks in her presentation. In her regular job, Stefanie Mach advises companies of all sizes on matters of industrial property protection, with a focus on trademark law. She’s also actively involved in helping her clients to develop brand portfolios.

But that’s not even the end of our lineup of brand- and trademark-related learnings for 2019. Find an overview of the complete programme of the Marketing Innovations Forum here:

https://programm.reedexpo.de/de/Home/Forum-Marketing-Innovations/1161/


Save the date!

Peter Bichler

Brand and license marketing
What does a brand need for license marketing to make sense?

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Tobias Bier

Legal pitfalls in licensing
What aspects must be considered when negotiating and executing licensing agreements?

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Eberhard Kübel

Trademarks and designs on the Internet
Meaningful, legally competent Internet research

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm


Stefanie Mach

Stylish! Positioned! Loud!
Special trademark types are conquering the world of advertising

Thursday, 10 January 2019
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Marketing Innovations Forum in Hall 12.1 H52

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