Technology Attorneys

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

Five Things You Can Do When You Don’t Feel So Flattered

Combatting counterfeiters

Counterfeits are product imitations sold by counterfeiters using a brand’s name without the company’s permission. It spans various industries, but the most affected are pharmaceuticals, electronics, and apparel, especially clothes, handbags, and jewelry pieces.

Having counterfeits of your product can ruin the product’s integrity and also the brand’s reputation. This is because when products that look like yours do not provide the right quality expected by the customers, it leads to reduced sales and negatively affects brand reputation.

Therefore, it is vital to combat counterfeiting. Here are 5 ways to do this

Secure global protection of IP

Depending on your products, you need to secure a copyright, patent, or trademark to prevent others from reproducing your products without permission. Secure the products where you live, and also register your products in other countries the counterfeiters might be operating. Familiar with the Madrid Protocol? We will talk about it in other blog posts.

Monitor the market

Another way to combat counterfeiting is by searching for counterfeits online. You should include this in your budget because product cloning happens oftentimes. In other words, you must be prepared. Search for counterfeiters in places they might exist. If you deal more in online products, employ someone to search online stores for unauthorized sellers. In addition, avoid using too many channels to advertise or sell your products. That way, you can quickly identify the unauthorized sites making money through the sales of your products.

Use technology

To identify the people counterfeiting your products, you need the best technologies to monitor product movement in various parts of the world. These technologies make it easy to identify counterfeits by creating a pattern on the packaging that can be detected to show that the product is original. Another way this can be done is by adding nano-optic images to your product.

Involve your customers

Get your customers involved in identifying these counterfeits and reporting them. This is one good way to let your customers know that you are genuinely interested in their well-being. In addition, these customers will never have a wrong impression of your brand even if they have mistakenly purchased counterfeits. Inform your buyers through your product label on how to identify and confirm your product. 

Employ brand consistency

If you are always changing your brand products, you’re making it susceptible to counterfeiters. You must ensure that your packaging is consistent; this helps the customer quickly identify the fake ones. Although fake products sometimes look exactly like the original ones, customers can notice errors if you have been consistent with your branding.

Conclusion

Product counterfeits do not take away sales meant for your company; it also exposes your customers to the dangers of using products that might harm their health. However, using the methods listed above can help in combatting counterfeits and increase customer retention rate. 

Copyright vs. Trademark, what’s the difference?

The term Copyright and Trademark are both intellection property protections that have often be used in place of each other.

What are Copyright and Trademark? 

Copyright protects the original work of creative individuals like movies, songs, novels, and software.

Trademark, on the other hand, protects brand names, slogans, and logos. This is perfect for brands that do not want their names or slogan copied and used by any other firm. 

What are the differences between copyright and Trademark?

Some of the key differences between Copyright and Trademark include the following:

Process of Protection

Your works can be copyrighted using the following method:

  • Properly mark your work using a signature or a watermark.
  • Using Creative Commons, which offers creative copyright license for free
  • Adding the copyright symbol that shows your work is an intellectual property not to be used by anyone. 
  • Officially registering your work with the Copyright office in your country of origin. This requires the payment of a fee, after which you will receive a certificate. 

Trademarks, on the other hand, are registered through the federal or state government. It often involves extensive registration to get legal protection for your business properties.

Before trademarking, you must do research to ensure that no company is currently using the branded materials. 

Length of protection

Copyright protects creative works belonging to an individual. As an individual, you can create these works and copyright them immediately. Note that it has to be completed in physical forms. This implies that you cannot copyright an idea or principle. Also, works with expired copyright cannot be re-copyrighted. You’ll find these kinds of works in the public domain, especially those published a long time ago. For example, the U.S. refers to works published before 1923 as public domain work, which means it’s for the public’s general consumption. An author’s works using their original name have a copyright that lasts throughout their life and an additional 70 years. Suppose it’s created under a pseudonym and lasts from 95-120 years after creation. After this time, it becomes a public domain.

Trademark registration, on the other hand, has no expiry date. The only difficulty that is experienced in this is the process and time required to complete your registration. This varies from country to country.

Finally, although copyright and trademarks are key ways of protecting your intellectual properties, they vary in so many ways, as listed above. 

Talk to us about how we can help you PROTECT your intellectual property.

So your company is about to be acquired, what should you ask for?

Mergers and acquisitions are prevalent in the business world. The selling of a business or company is a decision that comes with careful consideration and planning.

The main benefit that comes with the sale of your company is liquidity; a huge amount of cash might be tied to a company and its operations. Oftentimes, advantageous economic tendencies peculiar to your business’ industry may generate increased demand for your business purchase.

To Whom Should You Sell

Deciding how and to whom to sell your business is crucial, and as a business owner, it can be quite a tough decision to make. Before you decide to give up your company for acquisition, here are some things to look out for and some questions that need to be answered by prospective buyers to ensure that you are not only going just to sell your business but also sell to the right buyer, get the exact amount commensurate with your business value, and also to ensure that there is a smooth transition of ownership.

  1. What is the reason for an acquisition?

Inquiring about the reason for an acquisition from a potential buyer guides you to deciding on whether to sell or not. It is important that your buyer’s vision aligns with what you desire for your company.

  • What is the current situation  of any previous acquisition?

For buyers who have had precious acquisitions, a look into the state of affairs might offer an insight into the trajectory that your business might follow if acquired.

  • What is the level of involvement in the business afterward??

While some buyers might allow for your involvement in the company list acquisition, some others might not. This is something that should be discussed extensively with a potential buyer before making a decision.

  • How do you intend to finance the acquisition and structure the deal?

An acquisition is an expensive pursuit and is highly capital intensive. A serious buyer should offer a suitable payment plan and structure the deal in a manner fair to you as the business owner.

Some other matters that should be established include: retaining of employees after acquisition, questions about the change in the company name, long-term goals for the company, strategies to grow the company after the acquisition.

Asides from asking these questions, you might also want to check the track records of your potential buyer to further aid you in making your decision.

Conclusion

During all of these, it is essential to have a legal team give proper counsel and advice and understand the legal implication of whatever decision is going to be made. This is necessary to ensure proper documentation and prevention of disputes that might occur post-acquisition.

Understanding the UDRP Process

In the last few years, disputes and conflicts surrounding domain names have become a common occurrence and are often required to be resolved legally. This article takes a detailed look at the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy aimed at resolving dispute.

Read to find out more.

What Is the UDRP

 The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a legal framework established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The UDRP regulates the domain name industry and tends to the resolution of conflicts encountered in the acquisition and use of internet domain names.

 The Need for the UDRP

Domain names are identity markers in the virtual world, an internet representation of a personal or business brand’s unique identity. Disputes are bound to occur in the process of acquiring, registering, or transferring domain names; legal rights to a particular domain name might be claimed by two opposing parties.

There have also been cases of inadvertent purchase of stolen domain names or fraudulent registration. A stolen domain name is tantamount and equally important as a stolen physical identity.

A domain name is significant intellectual property, and thus disputes regarding it are required to be resolved through appropriate legal channels, hence the need for the UDRP.

The UDRP caterers for the generic top-level domains, which include the .com, .info, .biz, .net, .org, and the country code top-level domains that have adopted the UDRP Policy.

Understanding the UDRP Process

If you have had your domain stolen, been defrauded in the course of registering a domain name or have been a victim of domain name squatting, or any other form of domain name dispute, you have the right to lay a complaint against the registrant (the one charged with an abusive registration).

The complainant would first hire an accredited UDRP service provider, which could cost between 1000 and 2000 USD. It is important to know that In line with the dispute resolution policy, every complainant, through his resolution service provider, must establish the following:

  1. The domain name in question is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
  2. The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
  3. The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith [as determined by several factors]

The UDRP proceedings follow in an administrative panel with a thorough consideration of the factors and view the case at hand through the lens of established laws and policies as regards domain name registration and protection.

The final verdict dictates who maintains the legal rights to the domain name in question. The advantage of tendering domain disputes to the UDRP over the customary law is that it is faster and costs less. If the complainant doesn’t get a satisfactory verdict, he or she might go-ahead to challenge the verdict and file a lawsuit against the registrant in a standard court of law.

Conclusion

UDRP is vital in preventing identity theft or in business situations, a theft of clients. It enables the protection of a personal or business domain name. As mentioned above it also caterers for generic top-level domains which include the .com, .info, .biz, .net, .org, and the country code top-level domains that have adopted the UDRP Policy.