Protecting What Makes You Successful
by Denis Tan
Denis Tan is an Associate Director and serves as our FMCG Lead. The following are excerpts from his speech delivered at the IPOS’ IP Consult Food & Manufacturing Seminar.
We know that brands are powerful assets. What constitutes this value? A brand, like a person, is recognised by its own distinctive and unique characteristics. These signatures could range from its name, visual marks, to packaging shapes, sounds or even slogans.
Take, for example, Glaceau Vitamin Water (owned by Coca-Cola). Its bottle shape is a key point of recognition for many consumers in China. However, despite being first to market, the brand faced a tough battle against a local beverage player Nongfu Springs who went to market later with Victory Vitamin Water but with a patented bottle design.
Brand owners need to understand cues that their target consumers recognise or associate their brands with, in order to identify the critical elements that must be protected. We, together with our group of companies under the Louken Group, recognise the central role of IP in brand development. This is particularly crucial to expanding a brand’s regional footprint. Our clients’ case in point, when Kee Song Brothers, a leading poultry producer in Singapore and Malaysia, was ready to market its range of premium chickens reared using its own proprietary lactobacillus feed technology, we ensured various components of this new product could be trademarked including a new name Kee Song Carofold. Brands, to be successful, demand investment, monitoring, enforcing, and protection.