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How do you improve the IP protection of your product?

IP-BESCHERMING VAN UW PRODUCTEN AANZIENLIJK VERBETEREN V2 blog websitePatents and trademarks are forms of intellectual property rights with different purposes. Patents protect new inventions, while a trademark is a distinctive sign or feature used to identify and distinguish products or services from others on the market. So much familiar information, but did you know that combining patents and trademarks can significantly improve IP?

Indefinite trademark protection

Trademarks can take many forms, including words, symbols and logos. Examples of trademarks are LinkedIn and EP&C. While a patent grants an inventor the exclusive right to his invention for usually 20 years, trademark protection can last indefinitely as long as the mark is used commercially and remains distinctive.

Technical and corporate information

Although patents and trademarks appear to have little in common, combining patents and trademarks can be strategically advantageous and significantly enhance the IP protection of your products. Imagine you invented and patented a shoe sole with a gas-filled insert that releases air through an opening upon impact. The shoe soles provide a superior cushioning of the feet.

Further securing a trademark, such as Air Max, will help distinguish your patented product from others in the market. Even more so, consumers often come to associate a trademark with specific attributes such as reliability, quality, and reputation. As a result, a trademark can provide additional protection for your product, which may last well after the patent has expired.

For example, DuPont patented Teflon in 1941 and trademarked the name Teflon in 1945. While the original patents expired long ago, the Teflon brand remains protected as a trademark. This means that while other manufacturers can produce the compound, they still cannot market it as Teflon unless they have permission.

Successful and recognizable product

It is common for companies in all sorts of sectors to hold both patents and trademarks on a single product. The sports drink Gatorade is another example of how a patented formula and a trademarked brand work together to create a successful and recognizable product. Trademarks like “Blueleaf” and “BonDefense” distinguish cucumber varieties with particular patented traits. Aspirin is still a trademark in some countries, even though the original patent expired during the First World War. Other examples are Gore-Tex, Lycra, Post-it, and Viagra.

powerful strategy

In conclusion, combining patents and trademarks is a potent strategy for innovation-driven businesses to protect their technological innovations while carving out a lasting niche in a competitive landscape.



Topics: INNOVATION, design protection, PATENTS