Table of Contents
Packaging brands serve the business activities of owners or licensed users, and necessary protection is also required in the use of packaging brands.
The so-called protection during the use of packaging brands refers to a series of activities taken by business operators to maintain the image and market position of packaging brands in specific marketing activities.
The protection of packaging brand use is first manifested in the maintenance of packaging trademark rights. The maintenance of trademark rights depends on the correct use of the trademark.
Reasonable use of registered trademarks in accordance with the law
The economic significance of registering a trademark lies in protecting the legitimate rights and interests of various entities engaged in the exchange of goods and services in normal economic activities, which excludes legal protection for registered trademarks that are not economic activities.
To prohibit the registration of a large number of trademarks without the use of economic activities, trademark laws in various countries explicitly stipulate that after a trademark is registered, it should be put into commercial use, but each country has different requirements for the duration of use.
For example, most countries such as the UK, France, Germany, and Thailand have a 5-year policy; Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Italy, Canada, and Australia stipulate a 3-year period; Brazil, Chile and other countries stipulate a 2-year period.
That is to say, without justifiable reasons, if a trademark is not used for 2, 3, or 5 consecutive years after registration, the trademark authority shall take the initiative or delete the registered trademark from the registration at the request of a third party.
Some countries have stricter regulations on the use of trademarks: according to US law, in the fifth year after a trademark is registered, the registrant should submit a declaration of use to the trademark authority to swear that the trademark has actually been used in the United States.
This statement of use should be genuine. If a statement of use is submitted without actual use, once discovered, it will be punished as fraud. There are also national regulations that require applicants to provide evidence of use within 3 or 5 years when renewing a trademark. The evidence is insufficient, and the competent authority refuses to renew the registration.
Use a trademark that is consistent with the registered trademark
The trademark used in the business activities of the enterprise, that is, the trademark on the product label, packaging container, or product packaging, must be consistent with the trademark applied for or approved for registration, and must not have any substantial changes.
Some countries even stipulate that changing the text, graphics, or combinations of registered trademarks on their own poses a risk of their registered trademarks being canceled.
If the registrant not only uses the approved registered trademark, but also uses other signs that are “similar” to the registered trademark, their behavior belongs to “self-changing the text, graphics, or combination of the registered trademark”.
The use of trademark colors is also very important. The Trademark Laws of various countries generally stipulate that if a black-and-white trademark is registered, it will apply to all colors;
If a color trademark is registered, the color must be the same when used, and changing the color will be considered as self-changing the trademark.
Therefore, if there are no very fixed colors available for use, it is best to register a black-and-white trademark, which is convenient and flexible to use.
It can be seen that in order to ensure consistency with the registered trademark, the trademark should be carefully designed before applying for registration.
No unauthorized expansion of the scope of use of registered trademarks
When registering a trademark, it is generally necessary to clarify the scope of use. After trademark registration, the registrant shall use the trademark for the designated goods or within the designated scope of goods, and shall never use it on non-designated goods or beyond the designated scope of goods.
If the registered trademark is used without authorization on other goods not specified at the time of registration (even on similar goods), there is a risk of the trademark being revoked.
Not easily franchising registered trademarks to others
Allowing others to use their own brand is actually allowing others to use their own reputation.
Therefore, in order to license the use of a registered trademark to others, a formal license agreement should be signed and the trademark use license filing procedures should be handled at the trademark registration authority. This is because the use of the registered trademark by the trademark licensee is generally considered as the use of the trademark registrant, and the use license filing will be beneficial for the maintenance of trademark rights.
In addition, the trademark registrant should strengthen the management of the licensee’s trademark use behavior, supervise and inspect the quality of the licensee’s goods and services, and prevent quality issues from affecting the trademark reputation.
Change of Registered Trademark and Brand Protection
Change of registered trademark
It refers to the legal process by which an enterprise can obtain approval from the Trademark Office upon application if the name, address, etc. of the trademark registrant changes during the business process.
If an application is made to change the name of a trademark registrant, each application shall be submitted to the Trademark Office with a “Application for Changing the Name of a Trademark Registrant” and a certificate of change, and the original “Registered Trademark Certificate” shall be returned.
The application for change should clearly fill in the trademark registration number, trademark name, name of the original registrant, and name of the registrant after the change; The change certificate is a document approved by the competent department.
If an application is made to change the address of a trademark registrant or other registration matters, each application shall be submitted to the Trademark Office with one copy of the “Application for Changing the Address of a Trademark Registrant” or “Application for Changing Other Registration Matters of a Trademark” and relevant change certificates, and the original “Trademark Registration Certificate” shall be returned.
Precautions for Applying for Change in Trademark Registration
The application for change can only be a change in the registrant’s name, address, or other registered matters of the trademark.
If the name or address of the trademark registrant is changed, the trademark registration must be denied and all registered trademarks owned by the registrant must be processed for the change together.
When submitting a change request, a certain fee must be paid, otherwise, the change request will be returned.
If the application for change is to entrust a trademark agency to act as an agent, a copy of the “Power of Attorney” must be submitted
If the trademark registrant fails to complete the change procedures in a timely manner after the name is changed, the changed trademark registrant no longer has the exclusive right to use the trademark. Therefore, after the trademark registrant’s name is changed, the change procedures should be promptly handled with the Trademark Office.
Basic Strategies for Protecting Brands in Packaging Brand Management Activities
Customer-oriented, improving consumer satisfaction with packaging brands
In modern commodity economy society, the marketing activities of merchants are centered around the market, that is, centered around consumer demand.
Consumers’ purchasing habits and preferences are constantly changing with the improvement of their living standards, and the management and protection of packaging brands are closely related to consumers’ interests and preferences. This requires corresponding adjustments to brand content, otherwise, the brand will be ruthlessly eliminated by the market.
Almost every well-known brand is constantly changing to meet consumers’ “tastes” and preferences. The taste of Coca Cola, the new models of Kodak, the varieties of Haier air conditioners, and the styles of Levi’s jeans are constantly adjusting and changing with the market trend, otherwise they will not be able to adapt to the changing trends of consumer demand.
Ford, which has only one color, is black, has also launched new products in different colors and styles in response to consumer demand trends.
Brand protection and innovation are the eternal tasks of brand operators. In 1998, the sales of Levi’s Company decreased by 13% compared to the previous year. The main reason for the decline of Levi’s brand is the neglect of the psychological changes in the needs of consumers – young customers, and its style design and brand communication methods are incompatible with the popular fashion at that time.
Taking the market as the core and fully meeting the needs of consumers, brand operators are required to establish a comprehensive market observation system, constantly understand the changes and trends in consumer demand, and adjust their brand connotation in a timely manner to win in market competition.
For example, the packaging design of the “Sparky’s” brand series in the United States places great emphasis on the innovative characteristics of the packaging brand. Sparky’s brand packaging design often adopts a very innovative and unique design form, which is very in line with consumers’ aesthetic psychology of seeking novelty and change in packaging image.
Improve the quality management system and maintain a high-quality brand image
Product quality is the soul of packaging brands, and high-quality packaging brands often have a high market share. If a well-known brand experiences quality issues, it will greatly reduce its brand image.