Achieving Intellectual Property Compliant Marketing
This Intellectual Property 4-article series has come to an end. We started by identifying intellectual property and its different types for the different assets it protects. Then, we wanted to explore how intellectual property can be interpreted in the marketing context. The third article explored a couple of practical intellectual property uses in marketing. Finally, in this article, we will navigate how marketers can make sure their strategies and efforts are intellectual-property-compliant.
As we indicated in the previous articles, a variety of communication material is always used in a marketing strategy. While most businesses and marketers will always want to make sure their intellectual property is safe and protected, it’s also important to make sure not to infringe other’s intellectual property rights.
In this context, it’s highly advised and required to go through an intellectual property compliance process to avoid legal and financial consequences as well as reputation damage.
Here are a few situations to consider:
- Trademark-Clearance Search
This should be done before using any name, logo, or slogan in marketing. A trademark clearance search aims to check the availability of a trademark before using it. We use the term “available” here because using a trademark should not depend solely on registration. Some companies don’t wish to have their newest brand names officially registered as trademarks. However, it’s still important for them to perform the search and make sure they are not breaching any third-party rights.
- Competition vs Anti-Competitiveness
Certain marketing campaigns can sometimes get excessive and extreme resulting in exaggerated and distorted marketing campaigns. The different means and tools used in a marketing campaign to draw target customer’s attention can sometimes cross what’s legally accepted.
When it comes to intellectual property rights, it has become normal for many people to use famous trademarks without getting any approval or authorization from the trademark holder. Of course, this is illegal even if the product, service, or business that is marketed doesn’t relate to the company that holds the trademark. It’s important to acknowledge that any use of a registered trademark without authorization is illegal.
Marketers and businesses are required to be careful when it comes to intellectual property rights. A preventive legal mechanism has to be developed by those who wish to adhere to intellectual property compliant marketing. In order to do this, there are 3 main factors to consider; ensuring exclusivity protection and avoiding copying, considering the different ideas to avoid infringements of intellectual property rights, and drawing the lines to how far a marketing campaign can go.