Brands and Patents: Registration
By: Juan Carlos Artigas
In the EU, several million of trademarks compete for the purchasing power of 500 million of consumers. In case of large multinationals, the registration of brands is the most expensive investment; more than factories, commercial networks, shops and other intangible assets together. According to Business Week and Interbrand consultant, Coca-Cola is the most expensive brand (67.525 million $). In 2005, the only Spanish brand included in the list was Zara (3.730 million $).
Brands are so prized and ubiquitous, that it would be very interesting to know who and how create them, as well as who and how give them legal validity.
Nowadays, this task is carried out by the marketing or legal department of the company, or it is outsourced to naming and branding companies. A few decades ago, patent and brand companies were responsible for registration but this work has become more complex due to the proliferation of brands and globalization of economy, so the number of brands that operate abroad is increasing permanently.
As a rule, those who create the brand have to work together with those who register it, as brand cannot be registered under any name, any logo or any distinguishing features. OEPM, like EU, only acts when an existing brand is being damaged and there is opposition. According to the EU law it can be registered anything which can be represented graphically, even a sound or smell brand.
Brand agencies are very similar to laboratories, as they sometimes get unending lists of names, and they need to rule out some of them before studying the rest in collaboration with the correspondents.
According to branchannel.com, the Mexican beer producer “Corona” negotiated with Bodegas Torres its entrance to Spain 12 years ago, as they were in the same sector than its wine “Corona”. Finally, the Catalan company “Bodegas Torres” accepted the name “Coronita” instead of “Corona” for the Mexican beer. That is the reason why is vital to know the possibility of success and registration before the commercialization of the product in order to take advantage of its economic resources and not to infringe rights.