What is online brand monitoring?
Monitoring involves the process of observing and tracking uses of your brand online. It is a key aspect of your business’ operations to both understand your customers’ sentiment towards the brand and uncover any instances where your intellectual property rights have been infringed.
Online brand monitoring includes searching for use or misuse of your brand online, in commerce platforms and on social media. It can provide valuable insights for your marketing strategies, but we are most interested in surveilling your brand from a protection or enforcement perspective.
Counterfeit goods and services provided using a trade mark without permission can be extremely dangerous for brands. The availability of counterfeit products means that we cannot control who buys them or whether they may actually be harmful - both literally to end users and figuratively to the reputation of the real trade mark owner.
It is often thought that online brand protection is solely to do with digital media or someone copying a piece of online content. However, a counterfeit medical drug could be produced and appear to be trade marked correctly and offered for sale online. Here, trade mark owners need to protect their rights to the brand by acting against the product itself. In this instance, action would be taken to protect customers from the negative implications of a counterfeit medical product being used, and the reputational damage suffered as a result of its use.
Counterfeit products are more difficult to identify, but we have a number of online brand monitoring tools at our disposal in order to find and close down sellers who infringe the rights of our clients. Advanced search algorithms, social media research work and online investigations are just some of the ways we help ensure trade mark rights are protected from use by counterfeiters. In an ever-changing and technologically advanced landscape, our trade mark attorneys need to consider all possible ways a fake product may enter the market in order to put together the most comprehensive protection strategy for our clients.
When outlining the online brand protection services Keltie provides for our clients, it is also important to mention cybersquatting.
Cybersquatting can involve opportunistic parties securing a domain and then waiting until the owner of a trade mark wants to secure it, in order to financially gain from selling it to them. Consistency of online representation is a key element for large brands, and therefore there is unfortunately a marketplace for domains to be bought and sold in this way. Keltie is able to help our clients avoid this, by developing a strategy built around the initial trade mark and ensuring that our search work uncovers any potential issues which may occur in the future once the mark is filed. Our rigorous processes will uncover any possible cybersquatting opportunists before they become a nuisance for our clients.
In some territories, individuals file trade marks and secure domains with the sole purpose of looking to sell them back to the rights holders. This is still commonplace, with many household name brands not having ownership of trade marks and domains in overseas jurisdictions. This presents an interesting challenge for our attorneys - we have to balance our portfolio and online brand protection strategy with the differing and particular rules of foreign territories. However, our clients are less likely to encounter domain ransom issues online thanks to our detailed clearance searching at the outset of a project, which uncovers opportunistic parties and helps inform our decisions for your intellectual property portfolio.
In emerging markets, many companies run automated software programs to search for and file trade marks in overseas territories with the hope of selling them back to owners in the UK and Europe. Counterfeiters and cybersquatters use extensive automated systems to create unfair advantages for themselves. As such, it is crucial that our clients are protected by the deployment of innovative solutions created by our expert team.
The only way to create an intellectual portfolio that attempts to avoid online infringement issues is to preempt issues which may arise in the future. Our extensive strategic approach to our clients’ projects, involving exhaustive search and detailed planning is the most effective way to counter those parties seeking advantage from our clients’ work. However, until intellectual property and infringement laws are made uniform across the globe, these issues will still occur.
At Keltie, we take pride in our multi-jurisdictional understanding that territories operate according to their own laws - many of which do not cover aspects including ecommerce and online enforcement of IP rights. Even now, online usage for example, is rarely mentioned in any trade mark documentation. We use our skills and knowledge developed by working with brands for many years to put together the most comprehensive and protective strategies for our clients. The online world is fast-evolving and changing with the increasing pace of technology, but our professional attorneys are ready to meet the challenge.
Services you may be interested in
Decades of experience as attorneys, engineers and scientists in industry and research underpin the approach of our patent team. We are resolutely commercial and take time to understand your technology and your business.
Keltie’s patent attorneys are skilled not only in patent searching, but in interpreting the output of a patent search, and in helping you understand what it means for your technology and your business.
Why file a patent application? Patents can serve multiple purposes during their lifetime. They grant the owner a period to enjoy the exclusivity of their invention before others can use it. They give the owner powerful rights recognised in law to prevent infringement. But they are also valuable intellectual property which can enhance the ability of the owner to exploit their technology commercially through licensing or sale of the invention.
A key reason to invest in patent protection is to prevent others from copying your innovation. The patent system is intended to allow you, as a creator, to enjoy exclusivity around your technology for a set period of time. Patents allow you to leverage that exclusivity in order to develop your commercial position.
What is the Patent Box? Patent Box is a tax incentive scheme designed to encourage innovation within the UK. Introduced in 2013, it is a government-backed initiative whereby company profits which are derivable from patented technology are taxed at a lower rate than standard corporation tax. The system is intended to provide a strong and supportive environment for innovation within the UK.
The attorneys in our Trade Mark Group are among the leading brand protection experts in the UK and Europe. Through our associate network, we coordinate brand protection all over the world. The Group comprises multi-lingual European and UK trade mark attorneys with backgrounds in law, engineering and business. Their expertise extends through the full lifecycle, from searching and filing through to opposition and litigation, including enforcement and appeal. The Group also has vast experience in online enforcement.
Before you start using a trade mark, it is good practice to conduct a search to check that the trade mark is free to use. Conducting this type of search can be challenging because there are so many trade marks in use across many different fields of commerce. This makes it difficult for people without trade mark qualifications to navigate other brand-owners’ rights, and avoid or manage potential conflict.
How to file a trade mark The trade mark filing process can be relatively straightforward. In theory, all an applicant needs to do is access the relevant trade mark website, enter the word they wish to create a mark for, add the relevant goods and services to apply to the mark and pay the fee.
What is trade mark protection? Trade mark protection is a means of securing a monopoly right in a word, logo, shape, colour or sound that acts as an identifier of origin, allowing consumers to immediately determine the source of the goods or services offered under that particular trade mark or brand.
Keltie's attorneys have an unusual wealth of expertise and experience in design rights. We help clients protect their designs, exploit their rights and mitigate risks.
If you are launching a new product there is a risk that it will infringe third party design rights. You can reduce the likelihood of costly conflict down the line, or at least be better informed of potential risk, by conducting a design search and clearance assessment before product launch. To do this, we search for relevant earlier rights - both registered and unregistered designs - help you assess the risk these pose to you, and guide you in any action that you might take to reduce and mitigate risk.
To protect your design with a registered right, a formal application must be made to the appropriate IP office. Obtaining a design registration is relatively quick (a matter of weeks or months in the EU and UK), which can be very useful for creators because it means rights and therefore protection can be granted swiftly.
As the owner of a design right, you are able to take action against another party if they market a product that is too visually similar to yours, without your permission. If their product is identical to your design, or if it differs in some ways but the impression the consumer takes from their product matches your design, you may be able to take action.
What is online brand protection? Protecting the value of your brand online is a lot to do with reputation management. In the age of the internet and social media, brands are global, accessible and more easy to engage with than ever before. Online brand protection services from Keltie seek to protect the credibility and equity you have built within your business and include our enforcement, monitoring and detection capabilities.
What is online brand monitoring? Monitoring involves the process of observing and tracking uses of your brand online. It is a key aspect of your business’ operations to both understand your customers’ sentiment towards the brand and uncover any instances where your intellectual property rights have been infringed.
A domain name provides a platform for visibility of a brand in an online space. It is a destination address for the web traffic generated around a brand name. However, simply put, a domain is a word, and a word can be trade marked. Often, people secure a domain name first in their process of creating a new product or service. Whilst an online presence is a key part of launching a new brand, it is a mistake to think that because you own a domain name, you will be able to secure a matching trade mark. The process should work the other way around - where a domain name becomes an additional asset secured following the clearance and registration of a trade mark.
People who work in this area
David is a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney. His responsibilities include the prosecution of trade marks, trade mark audits, conducting clearance searches and handling contentious matters such as trade mark opposition proceedings, infringement matters, revocation and invalidity actions.
Sectors we work in
No matter what your product, aesthetics are invaluable. They are the first impression of a product: the contours, shapes, colours and textures that catch our eye as we see, use and interact with it. Not only does a distinct aesthetic have its own value, but it can enhance function, reinforce brand recognition and loyalty, and drive consumer choice.
Branding has a key role to play in any industry. Brands are the flags that fly on behalf of a business or product. They are an identifier of origin that allows consumers to recognise where their products or services are coming from, so it is crucial that those brands resonate with consumers. They must also be kept free of problems that inhibit their ability to be the vehicle that drives a business.
Whether it is the development of novel materials and compounds, or the improvement of industrial processes to make them cleaner or more productive, chemical sciences underpin many of the aspects which are key to addressing the challenges of the 21st century. The diversity of innovation in chemistry is vast, with industry-leading companies combining resources and skills to create new products designed to solve problems and enhance our understanding.
Often referred to as a Fourth Industrial Revolution, emerging digital technologies which blend physical systems and digital technologies together are playing a more significant role in our everyday lives.
Engineering inventions can be found in hugely complex products, or deceptively simple creations. They can encompass almost any field of technology, and often several fields at once.
More so than almost all other scientific fields, our knowledge, understanding and expertise in biology has increased at a phenomenal pace over the past few decades. Since the high throughput sequencing power used in the human genome project was unleashed at the beginning of the 21st century, multiple '-omics' disciplines now characterise a diverse field that offers such enormous potential for medicine, food production, wellbeing and human expression.
Modern technologies and advancements in product design and manufacturing contribute to our being able to lead a more sustainable and improved lifestyle. These in turn are increasing both the expectancy and quality of life we are able to enjoy as consumers by combatting health challenges and diseases, improving diagnostics and developing new therapies.
Materials science and the technologies involved in manufacturing processes underpin almost every element of technological development. The function, quality, longevity and financial value of products are all impacted by their material make up and the mechanisms involved in their production.
Precision medicine, also referred to as personalised or stratified medicine, is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention in which medical decisions, treatments and products are tailored to a subgroup of patients by taking into account the individual characteristics of each patient.
There are few greater challenges than starting a company from scratch but the rewards for taking a great idea or innovation and turning it into a successful business are substantial. At their inception, new companies grow quickly, driven by the dedication of owners and their will to make them profitable, but usually with limited financial resources. In order to become established and find a strong position within the market, startups need to attract external investment.
Sustainability or Green Technology is a hugely prominent sector as public consciousness, awareness and engagement with the ‘green agenda’ grows. As consumers, our behaviour can have a significant environmental impact and has prompted substantial strategic and financial support from national governments and the UN as they look to industry to develop sustainable solutions, products and technologies.
The rise of the internet and modern telecommunications has been underpinned by our ability to program computers to carry out complex operations. Almost every aspect of our lives has been advanced by developments in technology and software, making previously slow or complicated processes easier, faster and in some cases, cheaper.
25.08.2021Hydrovision vs Hylovision - Court offers clear vision in likelihood of confusion case
Keltie Trade Mark attorney Eleni Mezulanik takes a look at this important decision from the General Court.
12.09.2022The long-term impact of Brexit on trade marks and designs
Six years on from the Brexit referendum, we can happily say that the measures put in place for trade marks and designs have been successful in delivering a smooth transition. But IP owners now need to pay attention to upcoming changes to rights of representation, particularly in light of the huge growth in applications at the UK IPO.
02.03.2021Top IP Tips for Influencers
When creating content, it is important to keep the right side of the IP line. Amelia Skelding talks through 5 top tips for influencers.