“All employees are brand ambassadors whenever they are out in the wild”: the Netflix approach to enforcement

The winner of Sports, Entertainment and Media Team of the Year at the WTR Industry Awards 2018 was Netflix. We sat down with Jeremy Kaufman, senior counsel, intellectual property, to reflect on the challenges faced over the past year – and the reaction to a particular cease and desist letter.

It is not often that a trademark story goes mainstream, but that was certainly the case with a cease and desist letter sent by Netflix to a pop-up bar in Chicago using the theme of popular TV show Stranger Things. However, this was not a case of a brand receiving flak for taking a hard line on infringement. Instead, Netflix was praised for the good-humoured tone the letter adopted, which empathised with the infringer’s love of the brand and cannily used references to the show’s characters when asking them to desist.

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