6 tips on trademark strategy

Popular trademarks will always be at risk of being copied. However, there are a number of precautionary measures you can take to secure your rights and products.

1) Create a long-term trademark strategy
Regardless of whether you aim for national or international trademark protection, it is always important to have a strategy in place. What are you going to register? In what countries? How are you going to prevent infringement, and how is your company going to handle the situation in the event of infringement?

2) Register your trademarks and designs
In order to enforce your rights, you need to register your trademarks and designs. If your trademarks are registered, the odds are in your favor if you encounter an infringement case.

3) Keep an eye on your products
Keep a watchful eye on the market and the use of your trademark. It is wise to keep updated, e.g. by way of the Internet, on whether others are copying, selling and/or marketing products that are similar to yours.

4) Set up a trademark watch
You can set up a watch of your trademark that enables you to act quickly in the event of copycats trying to register your trademark or a similar mark in other countries. Plougmann Vingtoft’s consultants can help you with this.

5. Set up a customs surveillance
Most counterfeit goods are manufactured outside the EU. We therefore recommend that you establish a customs surveillance of your products, which applies to products imported either to Denmark or to all EU countries. A customs surveillance is an important tool when dealing with counterfeit goods as it tells you if customs detain products suspected of being fake. When goods are identified as counterfeit, they are most often destroyed. Thus, a customs surveillance gives you the opportunity to hinder the import of counterfeit goods to Europe – before it is too late and the products hit the market.

6. Establish a policy for how your company handles copying or misuse
It is important that you decide in advance how your firm will react in the event of trademark infringement. There is a risk of becoming highly unpopular when trying to protect a trademark and you might even end up in a so-called “shitstorm” on social media, which is part of the reason why we recommend established company policies on this matter.

Naturally, we also recommend that you establish a policy for handling social media in the event of trademark infringement.