What role does Licensing play in an IP protection strategy?
Question: What role does Licensing play in an IP protection strategy?
Licensing is a vital element to building a brand. It is also an important pillar of a comprehensive intellectual property (“IP”) protection strategy. Some of the more obvious benefits of licensing include increased revenue and broader development of a brand.
However, the benefits of a robust licensing program in protecting a brand can be overlooked. This is because licensing agents and those charged with protecting a brand are often disconnected from one another, under-informed about each other’s activities and ultimately pursuing different objectives. Continental Enterprises (“Continental”) avoids these inefficiencies by bringing licensing services and IP protection under the same roof.
Licensing is a natural extension of IP protection for a number of reasons. First, effective licensing pushes counterfeits out of the marketplace. When licensed products meet the level of consumer demand, there is less opportunity for counterfeit and unlicensed products to divert consumer resources. Second, unlicensed products signal unmet consumer demand. As a result, enforcement efforts can spawn innovative new directions for a licensing program and open up new opportunities for distribution of legitimate products. Third, licensing can help sharpen and expand the boundaries of your IP. Using the complimentary tools of licensing and enforcement is the most efficient way to drive your brand into new territory.
In the end, you can increase your brand’s value through collaborative efforts of both licensing and IP enforcement. This is achieved by providing consumers with high-quality branded merchandise that appropriately reflects the image of the brand in conjunction with removing inferior, unlicensed and nefarious products from the marketplace. Because of the close connection between licensing and IP protection services, it is optimal to have these services provided by one agency. Continental Enterprises combines these services in a manner that is intuitive, efficient, complimentary to one another and supportive of your overall goals for your brand.
A company is stealing our ideas. But they are hiding behind foreign laws and convoluted ownership. What can we do to stop them?
Question: A company is stealing our ideas. But they are hiding behind foreign laws and convoluted ownership. What can we do to stop them?
In order to protect your IP, it is essential to overcome the efforts of infringers to frustrate and circumvent the civil process and avoid prosecution. Continental turns the tables on counterfeiters and infringers by confronting them in unconventional and unexpected ways. These are just some of the tactics that infringers use to avoid being held responsible for their actions:
- Hiding behind foreign laws and domiciles to avoid U.S. regulations.
- Keeping fraudulent books and avoiding making their records available, which prevents equitable asset recovery in the civil process.
- Setting up businesses in states where the criminal and civil statutes are lax or non-existent.
- Refusing to respond to civil processes.
- Concealing the true ownership of their businesses or transferring ownership to avoid civil remedies and become judgment-proof.
- Circumventing hands-on involvement in legal transactions thereby avoiding any connections with the counterfeiting.
- Attempting to dodge liability through silence and unresponsiveness.
In response to these tactics, Continental has developed unconventional approaches to get the job done. We work with local attorneys who promote the creative use of state civil statutes like the Indiana Crime Victims Act, which provides enhanced civil penalties for various crimes against property regardless of whether the root crime has been prosecuted. We assist state and local police agencies in enforcing state criminal statutes (i.e. forgery), as opposed to relying solely on federal law enforcement. This is because local law enforcement is much more efficient and often more concerned with IP-related crimes.
We examine the various enforcement strategies and remedies in areas in which the infringer is operating.
We use state trademark registrations if federal registrations are still in process. We devise novel theories for IP protection to overcome the shortcomings of traditional enforcement analyses. We take action against all parties in the distribution chain from manufacturers to individual retailers. We investigate and document all potential crimes that are associated with the counterfeiting and provide our evidence to local prosecutors.
Our experience has proven that counterfeiters and infringers will go to great lengths to subvert traditional methods of IP protection. As a result, it is necessary to devise and implement your own non-traditional approach to protecting your IP. Ultimately, our goal is to insure that your IP is protected by making it the infringer’s best business decision to stay away from your IP.