Global Intellectual Property Center

BLOG

Putting Trademarks Front and Center

Putting Trademarks Front and Center

10-23-14 © Predrag Vuckovic

By Kasie Gorosh

Brand names aren’t just important to the companies that own them. They’re also of tremendous value to consumers. They serve as shortcuts to choosing one good over another, and they allow us to reach for the product we trust.

The fact that a doctor can invent a life-saving device like a coronary stent, patent it, brand it, and make a profit from it, is not merely fair — it also ensures that future inventors will invest their time and money to bring their ideas to fruition.

But entrepreneurial criminals pose serious threats to consumers and businesses alike, not just in the United States but around the world. Policy makers and law enforcers are struggling to keep up.

Trademarks make owners out of inventors, and legal recognition of ownership is one of the very foundations of our economy. Trademark theft threatens to undermine those foundations.

The problem of counterfeit goods is global. Just recently, the London Fire Brigade reported a string of incidents involving fake iPhone chargers. A British businessman recently pled guilty after selling various counterfeit fashion items. And last summer, in a two-week period alone, Dubai police seized 60,000 phony telephone handsets, including fake iPhones and Samsung Galaxies. And

Consumers have more choices than ever to purchase the electronics, medicines, clothing and other goods they want, and with that comes a renewed responsibility to give consumers the certainty they need when purchasing items from a specific brand.

And that’s one of the focuses of GIPC’s Global Brand Council. By promoting trademarks through state and local Chambers of Commerce around the United States, and collaborating with our partners and American Chambers of Commerce around the world, GBC is working to grow the economy, protect brand integrity, and increase consumer safety.

We hope you’ll join with us. To learn more about GIPC’s efforts to fight fraud, visit www.theglobalipcenter.com/brand.