Outlining trademark strategies to endure economic adversities

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Ricardo R Díaz Cisneros
DZC, Tijuana

Lately, our days have been considerably more difficult, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a significant impact on businesses, with some even operating at a loss.  

Nonetheless, during this tough time, businesses, regardless of their size, can still thrive, and especially when a proper trademark strategy has been implemented. This is a big responsibility for the business advisors – the implementation of trademark strategies that allow to create new lines of business, alliances or revenue opportunities using the existing brand and intellectual property.

It is definitely easier said than done, first, because for businesses to fully take advantage of their trademarks, they must identify them and verify that they are legally protected. If they are not, then the first step would be to lodge the respective trademark applications, while drafting the trademark strategy, and, of course, evaluate the cost. Fortunately, this is one of the advantages of trademarks, they can be exploited in lots of ways, and costs may vary.

Sometimes, businesses have assets that can be considered a trademark but they are not aware of it and do not pursue registration. And, in even more rare occasions, those unidentified trademarks actually represent a big feature of the brand or is one of the most representative sources of income.

A proper trademark strategy should at least include trademark identification and the respective analysis, legal protection, enforcement, business opportunities and adaptation. As for adaptation, this refers to staying up to date on upcoming trends, like nowadays, the digital era, where brands should have an online presence, which represents new challenges for trademark enforcement, but also new business opportunities for trademark owners.

Usually, trademark strategies focus on franchising, licensing, joint ventures, among others, but that is a key aspect of trademark strategies. One might come up with any option that will add value to your brand and works for you.

It must be noted that, in most cases, the main value of a business might derive from its intellectual property, specifically, trademarks. This is because just as a person might lose assets but not an identity, a business might lose assets, but, a name or, in this case, a trademark, is something no one can take away from the business, if correctly protected and if an adequate trademark protection strategy has been implemented.

As stated, trademarks provide opportunities to develop new products, alliances and even to survive difficult times. Therefore, it is important that businesses always consider these insights:

  • Trademarks could be the most important asset not only for business survival but also to find new income streams using what the company already has. Protect them and exploit them.
  • Businesses are like living beings (metaphorically obviously), and for them to survive, they must adapt. These days, this obviously means that businesses should have an online presence and be up to date with upcoming trends. Adaptation should be considered as an investment and a vital part of trademark protection as well as a new opportunity to create new streams of income.
  • If a business is having issues due to factors that cannot be controlled, the existing trademarks and intellectual property must be carefully managed.

In conclusion, in these times of uncertainty, it is important not only to protect our trademarks but also to implement good trademark strategies that include trademark administration, enforcement of trademark rights and strategies to create business opportunities using what we already have. What is being presented here is not a secret, it is actually a trademark management strategy that different businesses have implemented throughout the years, mostly with positive results, because innovating with what we have will always be easier and maybe more profitable.