30 October 2018

The impact of technology on your brand

Online advertising was born in October 1994 with a banner advertisement purchased by AT&T on HotWired.com. Since then, online marketing has evolved dramatically into a multi-billion dollar industry and businesses are continually finding new and innovative ways to use technology to promote their brand.

The advancements in technology, and their effect on brand recognition, have developed so rapidly in recent years that it seems archaic that businesses used to rely solely on television and paper marketing, even though online marketing only really took off in the mid-2000s. Whilst these media are still used, they are often expensive solutions, especially for start-ups, and as global audiences can easily be reached through such channels as the internet, social media and digital streaming media, many businesses are opting for more tech-savvy marketing.

Although technology has made it easier for brands to reach potential new customers, there are downsides to this, particularly if appropriate brand protection is not in place.

Imagine the excitement of a start-up business seeing their innovative product and brand name on a social media platform, with their post receiving multiple ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, orders coming in, and everything is looking rosy. Then they find that another company has launched a similar product and/or has started using a confusingly similar name. They ask for legal advice, are asked if they have protected the IP in their business and…

Or that same start-up receives a ‘cease and desist’ letter from another company that has been using the same or a confusingly similar trademarked brand name. They ask for legal advice, are asked if they conducted thorough clearance searches when choosing their brand name and…

Another growing issue concerns apps – creating an app that infringes on a brand can be even easier than creating a website, and this has resulted in an increase in the number of apps that infringe trade mark rights.

Advancements in technology are exciting and valuable to businesses, but please heed our warning: make sure your IP is protected and protect the investment in your brand. For more advice and information, please get in touch with Emma Kirkpatrick at ekirkpatrick@hcrlaw.com

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About the Author
Emma Kirkpatrick, CITMA Paralegal & Trainee Trade Mark Attorney
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