Franchises must know how to protect their brand
By: Deborah Bates
23 March 2011
Those involved in the UK franchising market should understand how to protect their brand, as it is this that attracts customers and maintains a reputation.
That's according to industry expert, Peter Wilson, who spoke to The Franchise Magazine about how franchise owners could protect their intellectual property.
The expert claimed: "Central to brand protection is the use of Registered Trademarks. The registrations give you the sole right to use a particularly name or logo in relation to the products and services that you offer."
"But in order to qualify for registration, the name or logo must be distinctive, and not merely descriptive of what you have to offer."
Wilson added that any technology that has been designed and developed by the franchise owner should have a patent filed. This effectively gives the developer key ownership of the design, and means anyone else thinking of creating the same product will not be allowed to, by law.
Businesspeople should think carefully before investing though, advised the BBC, as patents can be fairly expensive.
It's not only the technology owners can protect either, the brand specialist said: "Good design goes hand-in-hand with good technology and a strong brand."
"While patents can protect the way something works, and trademarks protect what they are called, design registrations protect what a product looks like."
He concluded by saying the three should work in perfect harmony.
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