Better together

By Tim Lince

While trademark counsel seem to be benefiting from closer relationships with marketing, significant challenges remain – not least managing an increasingly complex digital workload within renewed budgetary constraints

Given the financial and emotional potency of brands in today’s consumer economy, one could be forgiven for expecting to find a natural synergy between the creators and custodians of these crown-jewel assets. But in fact, the relationship between the trademark and marketing functions has long been fraught with tension. For years, trademark counsel have complained that too much time, effort and budget are wasted mopping up after enthusiastic marketing teams that fail to grasp the nuances of what is and is not registrable. On the flipside, marketing personnel often view trademark lawyers as the creative police, continually shooting down their carefully crafted marketing messages and branding ideas. It is true that each function approaches brand creation from a different starting point and hitherto it has proved difficult to reconcile the two perspectives. But the key takeaway from this year’s Global Trademark Benchmarking Survey is that the schism appears to be closing, with legal and marketing increasingly working in tandem to develop, register and commercialise brands.

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Issue 71