It is somewhat of an understatement to say that this has been a difficult year for many businesses, and in particular the retail and luxury goods sectors. And that difficulty is set to continue with another lockdown coming into effect in England from Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December 2020.

While heavy losses have been suffered by many retail and luxury brands this year, Brand Finance's annual report estimates that many luxury brands (including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermès) have actually increased the value and strength of their brand for the period 2019 to 2020. Value is determined by the value of a brand's IP (including trade marks, design rights and copyright) and in assessing strength, factors such as marketing investment, consumer familiarity and loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, were considered.

Brand Finance's report once again highlights the value to businesses of protecting, maintaining and enforcing intellectual property rights. Particularly in the current climate, where lots of things remain out of our control, there are a number of actions that can be taken by businesses of all sizes to protect these important and valuable rights, including:

  • Audit your IP portfolio to ensure that it reflects your current brand and business model;
  • Carefully consider licensing opportunities and how they may impact (positively or negatively) your brand value and strength; and
  • Monitor and take action against any infringement of your brand, to prevent brand erosion and/or a waiver of your rights.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss further.