At the heart of many intellectual property disputes is this issue: The infringement really damages the company's brand. It may do this by offering an inferior product, for instance, or by tricking people into buying a product that the company doesn't make. That either makes the brand appear worse to the public, or it steals sales directly from the company. Either way, the brand is impacted.
But what is a brand, and why does it matter? A few ways experts describe your brand include:
- Your brand is your story
- Your brand is the way you communicate your mission and identity to your customers
- Your brand is your voice
- Your brand sets you apart from the competition
- Your brand tells people about your values
- Your brand shows people the character behind your services or your products
- Your brand helps people connect with your company in a deeper way
Maybe your brand is humorous. Maybe it's compassionate. Maybe it's professional and clean-cut.
It doesn't matter, in many regards, at least when considering intellectual property issues and infringement on your brand. No matter what direction you decided to go with your branding, you worked hard at it. You put in time, money and energy. You put a little bit of yourself into it. Seeing someone else damage that or make sales because of the work that you did is difficult.
If that happens to you, make sure you know what steps to take. Remember that your brand deserves to be protected, and you do have a lot of legal options at your disposal.