If you are not to sure about Trademarks and their importance as a business asset, then a quick overview of the current Kylie Minogue versus Kylie Jenner trademark opposition is a great way to start.

Her are the key points:

Kylie, our homegrown girl, has been around since the 1980’s and has trademarked the name KYLIE for a list of uses including sound recordings (Class 9), Jewellery (Class 14), printed matter (Class 16) and Toys (Class 28).

Jenner, if you don’t know is the sister of Kim Kardashian and a new celebrity but not to be underestimated as she was recently voted as one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” by Time Magazine with an enviable Instagram following over 50 million. This Kylie has applied to trademark her name for entertainment in the nature of providing information by means of a global computer network in the fields of entertainment, fashion and pop culture (Class 41).

Minogue has filed opposition on the argument of confusion. She now has a battle on her hands to prove that she is “famous” in the US and that this opposition is warranted.

This case, if is proceeds does highlight to local Business Owners the need to plan their growth programmes before trademarking. It is important to register your brand on all of the correct classes and accurately describing the goods and services your business provides now and in the future. But remember, here in Australia you can lose your mark for non-use and applications must be filed in good faith.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

After years in the licensing game, managing global brands and launching local brands to expand sales and consumer engagements, there are three repeating and incorrect assumptions we contend with. As a Licensing Agency, we create innovative new consumer products, services and promotions for our Brand Owners. We are aware that for a Brand Owner to start licensing, they are hindered with these inaccurate ideas about licensing of their greatest assets.

1. Loss of Control

This is not an issue if the licensing strategy is robust and understood with your Agent. It is our job to create the deals and manage your Brand as per this strategy. We create this massive programme for all our Brand Onwer’s before any conversations with the market. A refined and agreed strategy determines the paramatres of your control over licensing.

Only once the strategy is signed off, does the focus then turn to your License Agreement. A well drafted agreement with an Intellectual Property Lawyer will seek to maintain control with the limits of brand use.

2. Licensing is Label Slapping

Wrong. Licensing can be overt or discreet depending on the outcomes each party wants to achieve. What if I shared that Nike doesn’t actually make their Boxing Shoes. They license them to another manufacturer/distributor/sales/marketing boxing shoe manufacturing company. Why? Boxing Shoes are not a core competency for the Nike company, but having leadership in the category remains the goal. So licensing with the best in class manufacturer to now create Nike branded boxing shoes fulfills this strategy. This is subtle and effective.

3. Licensing is the same as Franchising.

No way. Licensing is ‘leasing’ of your most valuable asset – your brand. Licensing can transform and unlock the intangible value of the brand you have carefully constructed by ‘loaning’ this to another third party to create incredible, desirable, lifestyle products in other categories and other territories for a fixed term when your own company lacks that experience and expertise. The Licensed Brand elements integrates into a manufacturer who already has their own skills, networks and expertise in a specific market and category to further develop the brand. Opportunities and skills that are too difficult or too expensive for you, Brand Owner, to create yourself.

Relationship is controlled by Brand Use.

Franchising is a business system in which the Franchisor provides the Franchisee with the operational framework in which to manage their business. Relationship controlled by business systems.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

In licensing, the Apparel and Apparel accessories are on of the biggest categories for revenue creation. In 2014, in the United States alone, this category was estimated to achieve over USD$50 billion in licensed sales.

So what is trending now? These are the top three commanding retail space overseas:

1. Art As Fashion
With the rise of print-on-demand consumers are seeking a more individual,less mass, sense of identity which has given rise to more art collaborations on fashion. Personal identity and apparel as individual statements has opened up the door for more bespoke artist licensed collaborations offered by a retailer.

2. Retro Character Couture
Branded licensing is not a mass market phenomenon with new trends now seeing retro brands appear in retailers including HMV, Sainsbury TU and M&S (Marks & Spencers) just to name a few UK brands. The economic climate has inspired the trend for nostalgia brands and this will continue to grow. Character Couture, the retro aesthetic revered in the “geek” culture wave, is going vertical from kids up to adults. In 2014 SpongeBob SquarePants made his Milan Fashion Week debut in February in a range from Moschino, as an example.

3. “Athlesiure”
That’s right, the blending of athletic performance wear and leisure wear creating a new apparel genre ripe for licensing. A recent example includes Commercial fitness equipment manufacturer Life Fitness whose growth strategy now includes a licensed range of activewear to accompany their core range of gym equipment.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Composers and those who invest in their music rely on Copyright Laws to protect their creations. This allows the Copyright Owner to claim certain legal rights to their works including controlling how their works are used in a licenses and how the royalty commission is earned.

Copyright in music can subsist in the composition (including the lyrics), the sound recording, and even the choreography if there is a video or performance.

Australian Copyright Law gives copyright owners the exclusive rights to:

  • reproduce the work – including recording a performance of it, photocopying it, or downloading it from the web
  • perform it in public
  • communicate it to the public – through radio, television and the internet
  • arrange or transcribe it
  • make it public
  • translate the lyric

There are many ways in which music can be commercially exploited; streaming, recording it on device or product, using it in advertising, selling it online and downloading it for mobile phone ringtones. Use can be granted through a license for a fee which provides royalty revenue for the numerous copyright owners. If you want to use a song, a part of a song or manipulate a song to accompany your own or company marketing material, you need a license.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

In the world of Licensing of brands, driven by the need to offer a 24/7 brand engagement, last year was lead by the major global brand Licensor’s strategising not just to build brands, but to build licensed franchises.

As a case study of the 360 Degree Licensed Franchise phenomenon, then a quick recap of Disney’s work with the Star Wars brand. Episode VII: The Force Awakens flew past the $1 billion mark at the box office faster than any other in film in history.

But wait, there’s more. To continue the franchise royalty revenue, the studio plans to release a new Star Wars film every year from now until 2020. This is in conjunction with other licensed experiences including television, live events and the dominating range of consumer products.

Case Study Two: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron continued mighty power of the superhero genre, raking in $1.4 billion worldwide. More Marvel movies (2 a year for the next 5 years), attractions, products, experiences contributing to the 360 degree strategy of consumer engagement.

Case Study Three: Universal’s revival of the Jurassic Park franchise with Jurassic World delivering $1.6 billion in box office sales worldwide. Universal also continued the franchises of Furious 7 and Minions, both of which enjoyed a healthy return at the box office and reinvigorated retailer support with refreshed consumer products.

A 360 Degree Licensed Franchise programme seeks to attain full brand leverage into royalty revenue across multiple platforms. Licensing is not linear, it is not just consumer products, but now includes licensed promotions, services, events, attractions, animation and interactive gaming to continue to touch new and reward loyal consumers.

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.