Posts

The most successful marketers are those who can directly link the marketing expenditure efforts to incremental growth on sales.  These commercially savvy brand managers understand that the right strategy can unleash new consumer engagement and convert new customers.

One of the most effective and lucrative strategies is that of Licensing.

Brand Licensing is the art and science of extending your brand out of your core products and services, into new and complementary products and services that attract new consumers to your brand.  Many of these consumers may not have indulged in our brand in your current market-leading offering, but as they are aware of your brand’s reputation, when they are offered your brand in another category they may gravitate to engage.

There are millions of examples of successful brand licensing programmes.  The most exciting elements of licensing is that when effectively controlled, consumers are unaware that their engagement with your brand has been created by a third party who is licensed to present and sell your brand on your behalf.

Did you know that Disney does not make any of their toys?  They have selected very special manufacturers to develop, market and sell these on Disney’s behalf.  Disney controls the brand use, assesses the quality standards and the marketing communications and receives a royalty income from the licensee.

We you aware that Westinghouse licenses its brand onto a range of televisions, laptops, light bulbs, electric power generation and landscape lighting?  That Hershey doesn’t make their branded ice-cream, their licensee creates and distributes this?  A Black and Decker vacuum, their small domestic appliances, safety gear and humidifiers are licensed products?  How about The Wiggles toys, books, games and manchester – they are licensed to leading global manufacturers as licensees.

As a Brand Leader, you may have an iconic brand that could be licensed.  When a brand is leased to a third party, the programme becomes the domain of the marketing team to ensure that the treatment of the brand by the third party when connecting with consumers is seamless.  This means that a consumer will never know that the engagement was not directly from your own company.

Many brand owners are now learning that there is great money to be made from licensing of brands.  Licensing growth can be rapid and sustainable if you take the time to plan and manage.   Licensing, when carefully constructed and managed, can be a very lucrative long-term revenue stream.  At a fraction of the cost for developing non-core product or service extensions and growing globally, a licensing programme could be your ticket to fast-track growth and profitability.

Want to get ahead of your competitors?  Executive Brand Licensing Education for company leaders at Iptium could create a new revenue programme and increase your brand footprint.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Celia Murray, Owner of Untapped Agency (Director of Licensing and Trade Marks Attorney), has launched Australia’s first intellectual property licensing education course for business leaders to create new royalty revenue streams from leveraging their brands. 

Affectionately known in the industry as Lady Licensing, Celia identified a knowledge gap in the market from her years of developing the licensing programmes for a number of the worlds most recognisable brands for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Named IPTIUM, the new IP licensing programme provides intensive learning workshops for company executives and owners aiming to empower them to develop a licensing strategy. 

Lady Licensing recognised the knowledge deficiencies in the market where company owners and leaders are not exploiting their biggest asset – their brand – to extend into new channels and territories.

Intellectual property commercialisation and monetisation is underperforming at a Board and Executive level.  “Licensing is the least explored growth strategy by company leaders but can deliver a significant competitive advantage” says Lady Licensing and she attributes this to the lack of educational course availability and of practical learning environments.

The goal of IPTIUM is to work alongside Australia’s most endearing brands and to lead the Chief Executives and Boards through the process of licensing development, implementation and management to accelerate growth and profits.

There are many goldmines out there that IP Owners are unknowingly sitting on and we intend to help exploit these” promises Celia.

 

Celia Murray is a IP Licensing Commercialisation Specialist and Trade Mark Attorney who lives for creating new revenue streams from licensing.  

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trade Mark Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and experiences to drive revenue.

The beauty of owning a trending fashion brand, is the scope available to extend your brand into complementary new products and new consumer categories.  This is not a task that you as the brand owner need to create if you develop a comprehensive licensing programme.  Fashion licensing is the process of allowing your brand to be leveraged by other manufacturers, under your watchful eye, to engage with new consumers outside of your core fashion range that you produce.

There are many example of fashion licensing where a prominent designer or brand extends their brand reach and consumer products into new categories, new retailers and new international channels. Here is just one to help explain the licensing phenomenon:

Calvin Klein

The Calvin Klein brand launched in the late 1960’s with coats, then developed into a range of women’s leisurewear.  By 1977, the brand’s annual retail turnover had jumped to $30 million.  A rapid rise to fame but this was due to the brand’s inclusion of licensing.

While Calvin Klein continued with their core women’s leisurewear range, they had commenced licensing the brand into shoes, belts, sunglasses, furs, scarves and even sheets.  Deepening the product range and reach, the brand then licensed into jeans, cosmetics and menswear. Annual retail sales revenue from all branded products exceeded $100 million before the end of the decade.

The licensing revenue in the early 1970’s achieved $24,000 and by the end of the 1970’s was amassing over $7 million in royalty revenue for the Brand Owners.

Local Designer Fashion Licensing

So how is this relevant to a local domestic fashion brand?  Your brand is your greatest asset.  Every day you create innovative pieces to reproduce and retail for your loyal consumer base.  Over time your brand becomes more well known, stockists increase and you may even open your own stores.  Your time and money is focused on your core range and product offering.  While diversification into other apparel or accessories would be natural, sometimes the costs and risks can be prohibitive.

If your brand has influence and resonance, another party could leverage your intellectual property with licensing. Your IP is your brand, designs and copyright.  A licensee is given permission to design, manufacture and market your brand while paying you a royalty commission for these rights.

Your brand and the health of your business can benefit in many ways.  Licensing can increase your profit from creating new revenue streams, allows your brand to expand into complementary products, and to increase your brand marketing exposure and customer base.  Fashion licensing, when successfully managed, allows the Brand Owner and designers to control the brand use to deliver a consistent brand experience to consumers.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Legendary American gym chain, Gold’s Gym, has partnered with a leading footwear manufacturer Vibram, to develop and market a range of footwear for the gym.

Specific to the deal, Gold’s Gym will have a branded FiveFinger cross training shoe which has the functionality to be used in many workouts including cross-training, running and water sports.

Developed in conjunction with the Gold’s Gym fitness experts, the new shoe has a significant purpose to extend the Gold’s Gym brand outside of the gyms and into the consumer’s lifestyles.  Licensing allows the brand to connect with new consumers who may not engage with the gym as their local hangout, but when they are exercising in their own time and space they can be associated and invested in the benefits of the brand.

Slated to be launched in early 2017 through North America, the shoe is promoted as a “training tool for active people everywhere, indoors and outdoors, from weekend warriors to professional athletes” says Michael Cobb, chief marketing officer at Gold’s Gym.

As a brand, Gold’s Gym asserts themselves a world leading authority on health and fitness.  The licensing partnership between Vibram, who achieved fame and success from their own FiveFinger brand to assert their reputation for footwear expertise, and Gold’s defines the focus that these brands have in this global market.

The new shoe will be developed to maximise function and form based on the lightweight material and a comfortable design which is the focus of the Vibram sole technology.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Not only is Black Caviar, our undefeated Australian thoroughbred mare, a legendary race horse but she now spends her days earning an additional income for her owners.  With 25 wins from 25 starts, she holds her place in racing history including the Australian Horse Of The Year.

Through an innovative licensing deal with one of Australia’s leading equine product manufacturing brands Joseph Liddy, the Black Caviar brand is available in horse shampoo and conditioner, cost gloss, hoof black and a full grooming kit with brushes.

The iconic peach and black jockey colours are transformed into the packaging and the Black Caviar brand remains a selected choice for those in the business.

The Black Caviar brand remains a front runner with her new foal reputed to be worth an estimated $5 million.  But she is not for sale at any price concede her owners.  Sired by Snitzel, another outstanding Australian stallion, the new filly is happy at home with her doting mum and is the third foal in as many years bred from Black Caviar.

Brand Licensing and horse racing is still a new concept as it can be debated that the only horse deserved of such a programme, has to be deemed the best in the world.  The horse, its owners and the jockey are all integral to the brand image and the ability to leverage from these brand attributes into complementary products.

The secret to all successful brand licensing is to keep the consumer programme relevant and tight.  The Black Caviar range has limited sku’s and aimed directly for grooming of your horse.  The brand owners and Joseph Liddy understood that perhaps there were equine fans who aspired to the Black Caviar brand and wanted a winner’s brand associated.  They were right.

With Melbourne Cup today, we thought you would enjoy our fun intellectual property licensing did-you-knows.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Many brand owners are now learning that there is great money to be made from licensing of brands.  Licensing growth can be rapid and sustainable if you take the time to plan and manage.   There are just a few rules that can help you navigate the process.

1Get your intellectual property protected

Your brand is your greatest asset.  You need to have your brand elements registered as trademarks in the territories that you expect to expand into.  Hire a trademark attorney for your brands and a patent attorney for your innovations.

2. Develop a Licensing Strategic Plan

Leasing your biggest asset requires meticulous planning as to what brand extensions are required and how this will be managed

3.  Develop Your Licensing Assets

You are allowing a third party to leverage the attributes of your brand.  They need to understand the rules so your brand remains consistent

4.  Get educated

Intellectual Property licensing education is a mix of marketing, sales, finance and law.  You need to have your head around all of these elements as they support your licensing management.  Iptium offers courses for company leaders.

Licensing, when carefully constructed and managed, can be a very lucrative long-term revenue stream.  At a fraction of the cost for developing non-core product or service extensions and growing globally, a licensing programme could be your ticket to fast-track growth and profitability.

 

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Get ready for the newest Transformers movie currently in production to continue the brand growth trajectory that this global franchise commands.

The new Transformers 5: The Last Knight, slated for release June 2017, is bigger than ever.

With the last four movies grossing in excess of $3billion to date at the box office, Optimus Prime and his loyal team will seek to defeat Megatron again in a new iteration of action, adventure and a new breed of hero.

The Transformers franchise has amassed over $7billion in retail since 2007, achieved 12million+ video views on the official Transformers You Tube channel and has over 30million facebook fans – and over 1.4 million of these are Australian.  We even like our tweets with 215,000 followers in Australia alone.  The Transformers brand transcends ages, with the four distinct sub-brands recruiting, engaging and expanding a loyal fan base.

Need a Transformers fix?  Check their facebook page here

For all promotional opportunities to partner with the epic movie release, contact us here at Untapped Agency 

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory. Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

There is a new process revolutionising NPD to rapidly increase time to market, slash R&D costs, create multiple new products for less than the cost of a handful, and reduce company failure risk exposure from consumer adoption.

New Product Development should be the domain of the marketing management.  This statement can be applied if you have a market leading brand in your category.  The litmus test you need to apply must answer an emphatic, yes, to the following questions:

  1.  Is your brand the most preferred or has a significant market share in your core category?
  2.  Is your brand known by consumers outside of your core category?

If your company can answer affirmatively then you should consider your process for NPD and share responsibility with the marketing team.

Consider this strategy for your own business. The Innovation team is charged with maintaining your market leadership within your core category.  The whole company is geared towards creating and delivering superior products and services and championing your brand’s market position.  Significant R&D investment is channelled to keeping your core brand relevant and a leader.  The risks are high too as not every new innovation is going to be a trending new success.  In fact, a study by Neilson provided a painful statistic that 85% of FMCG new product developments failed at retail.

While your current Innovation team continues to invent within your core category, the marketing team is communicating with consumers to engage and encourage a brand experience.  Charged with driving the communication to attract consumers and assert your brand market leadership in your category.

So now your marketing team needs to step into the NPD process but use a completely different system to grow market share, but this is on a much larger scale.  Your tools are not in a laboratory, instead you will harness your greatest asset – your brand.  As the marketing management you are now charged with NPD outside of your core category to introduce new consumers to your brand through the creation of a branded lifestyle.

Your process for this lifestyle brand extension?  Licensing.

Competitive brands are now turning to licensing to create incremental sales, reduce NPD risk, increase brand engagement and brand impressions and globalise.  Intellectual property commercialisation for brands is one of the least utilised marketing disciplines that a company can invest in.  Comparatively, it is much less expensive than in-house innovation resource requirements and you partner with other market-leading brands, products and services for a mutually beneficial growth collaboration.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory. Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

At Untapped Agency, we are fortunate to live in a world of brand licensing.  Now we can share a few examples why licensing should be the top priority for all CMO’s to attract new consumers.

As marketing professionals at our Agency Firm, we forged early careers managing retail brands from mass to prestige.  Working in the retail brand environment, our role was to create the reason for a consumer to purchase our products and from our outlets. In mass retail this was price centric as brands for bargains.  We worked for the retailer who purchased thousands of brands to make accessible to their customers.  Flip to prestige and responsibility was for a premium brand within our consumer category, where retail focused on brand nurture, value-add, superior customer care and brand protection.

Marketing at this time was traditional.  The Buyers in the company were responsible for brand extensions through sourcing of the innovative and new products and introducing consumers to complementary new product iterations. In the prestige brand, we were introduced with the product extension from our global head office.

Then we were introduced to licensing.  Stepping out of retail into brand management.  Licensing is brand management on a super scale.  In all our marketing management, licensing was never mentioned.  How could this be?

Our role is to manage the intellectual property on behalf of the Brand Owner to extend their brand out of its core category and into many new products, services and promotions.  The brand owner continued in their core category as a market leader, creating, cultivating, deliver an authentic experience and a superior product/service.  The depth of these attributes are then used by our Agency to translate these into brand extensions.  New products, new services, new channels, new markets.  The brand slowly becomes a lifestyle where consumers can engage outside the core.  At Untapped Agency, we are fortunate to have represented a few of the biggest brands on the planet and the most iconic – Disney, Warner Bros, Ford and Jim Beam to name a few.  Leaders in leveraging their brand assets into creating multiple income streams from incredibly lovable and innovative goods and experiences.

Here is the licensing rationale examples for marketers who are unfamiliar with brand licensing.

“I buy into the Energizer brand – the bunny that goes on and on and on – so I will feel confident buying Energizer branded flash drives, power extension leads and car battery jump starter leads. I attribute the brand values of Energizer batteries across all other products that bear their name.  These latter products are licensed. This means that Energizer did not make these but the licensed third party, who are market leaders in these products and now badging these with the Energizer brand allowing new product innovations and new retail categories, even new retail channels.

I have used Vicks on my chest with every winter cold.  I trust this brand. So when my infant son was unwell I invested in the Vicks Vaporizer as I believed that this was the best on the market to use in conjunction with the Vicks vapour solution.  Proctor & Gamble did not make the vaporizer, they licensed this to a market-leading healthcare devices and hone comfort products manufacturer.”

So this is licensing.  As a marketing leader for your brand, how can you reach into your brand attributes and seek to create the ultimate marketing programme through enabling new products to be created that enhance your consumer engagement?

If you want to learn more, we welcome you to attend our Brand IP Licensing courses for company leaders.  Designed specifically for Chief Marketing Officer, you are exposed to brand licensing and develop the skills and knowledge to create a case for licensing in your company.  Licensing incorporates marketing, sales, finance and law and is the trending growth strategy for innovative brands.

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory. Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

Iconic and authentic, the IRONMAN brand continues to expand globally through licensing into lifestyle products.

The iconic Ironman triathlon launched in 1978, and by 1986 the licensed Timex Ironman watch was, and reputedly remains, one of the best selling sports watches in the world.  The brand has continued to evolve its licensing programme to include sunglasses and optical frames, athletic equipment, electronics and accessories, protein powder, washing powder (to get those sweat smells out!), high-performance athletic gear and muscle cramp therapeutics

Ironman has spawned successful sporting event sub-brands including Ironman 70.3, 51510 Triathlon Series, Iron Girl and IronKids.  Internationally, you can find licensed brand extensions including IronKids Gummies (vitamins).

Further licensing deals and management are in play as well.  The Ironman Triathlon, Ironman 70.3 and the 5150 series are brand and events that are licensed out from the owner World Triathlon Events (WTC).

The Ironman brand was established from humble beginnings and has strategically grown to a global icon. Ironman licensing, and its affiliated brands are some of the most iconic for endurance sports.  The IRONMAN series of events now promotes itself as the largest participation platform in the world across its portfolio.   And with a portfolio of 43 registered trademarks across selected territories, this is a company where ‘anything is possible’ (registered trademark).

 

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

 

In 2015, the Polaroid brand earned an estimated USD$550 million. Not bad for a brand that was declared bankrupt in 2009. The company’s intangible assets – elements including any trademarks, copyright, designs, patents – were purchased by PLR IP Holdings, who then licensed all the assets for a brand revival.

Not only used on photography-related products including instant cameras, Polaroid is now a fashion icon with sunglasses and apparel plus stationery, drinkware and novelties.

Polaroid is affectionately known as a Phoenix Brand as it rose from the ashes.

Trademarks and intangible assets that reside within a company may prove, as in this case, to be the company’s greatest and most valuable asset.  If we were to consider the Polaroid brand in this context, then brand owners who will stop at nothing to protect and preserve their intangible assets, do have something to leverage if the company’s business practices cause operations to wind up and yet still have a valuable equity to monetise after the fact.

The brand reputation, protected with trademark registrations, have allowed the new owners of Polaroid to exploit the brand to create innovative incremental income through licensing.  A smart growth strategy when the focus has been to accentuate the Polaroid brand attributes with licensed product extensions that enhance the consumer engagement and quality of the brand experience.

 

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

If you want to expand your fashion brand quickly into new apparel and lifestyle categories then you need to license.

If you are not familiar with the concept of fashion licensing, then these famous brand’s growth strategy will help you understand.

Prada, Tom Ford, Chanel and Coach don’t create and manufacture and retail their own sunglass ranges.  These brands license their trademarks to Luxottica who take this responsibility to develop a bespoke range.  This license arrangement ensures that consumers can indulge in their favourite brands in new categories, the brands remain relevant and accessible, and the fashion house does not invest time and money into developing a product that they are not market leaders in.

Instead, as the Licensee, Luxottica utilising its core strengths of creating some of the best sunglasses on the planet on behalf of the brand owner.  The Fashion brand owner receives a royalty income from every pair of sunnies sold but they did not have to fund the range.

Sounds too good to be true?  It is not.  Licensing of fashion brands really started to gain momentum in the 1940’s when Christian Dior licensed to gain his brand retail presence into accessories, girdles, jewellery and ties.

In the 1950’s Valentino and Pierre Cardin commenced licensing of their brands too.

Ralph Lauren is the epitome of fashion licensing success.  He started his brand in the late 1960’s with a necktie line.  Now it is global empire crossing international boarders and consumer lifestyle categories.  Licensing of new sub-brands including Polo Sport, Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Purple Label.

 

To successfully venture into licensing, control of your brand is mandatory.  Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, fashion, designs, innovations and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.

If you are unfamiliar with Licensing of a brand, let us help you with a few basic terms and parties involved.

Simply, brand licensing is like leasing of an intangible asset. This intangible asset in your brand intellectual property.

So what really is Licensing? Licensing is a contractual permission to use a brand in association with a distinct product, for a set period of time, in an agreed territory. Licensing is the process by which a brand owner extends a trademark, brand or character out of its principal environment and onto products of a complementary yet completely different nature. You are rewarded by receiving a royalty revenue for the use of your brand logo on a consumer product.

A Brand Owner is called the Licensor. Also known as the Property Owner, the Licensor either directly owns or is employed by the branded company to tat on their behalf an in the best interested of the brand development and shareholder wealth. The Licensor has the power to agree to the licensing program and the rules in which the brand will be managed in the market.

A manufacturer is called a Licensee. A licensee is the company that has a contract with the brand owner to produce defined products or services under the brand name of the brand owner. A licensee is responsible for the development and distribution of the licensed products, including participation is retail promotional activity to sell in and sell through products or increase service experiences with the consumer.

The management of the licensing program is the Licensing Agent. On behalf of the brand owner the Agent develops the brand strategic plan and is responsible for the execution of the plan. The Agency is an out-sourced third party who develop, execute and grow the brand expansion programme, championing both the brand and the licensee to retail and consumers.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and 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.

If the thought of potential copyright infringement scares you senseless, then there is one simple way to avoid this predicament. Create your own original content.

Based on this sound reasoning, you could consider this editorial complete. However not everyone is a composer or a lyricist and more than likely you will need to source music to complement your own creative works.

Here are a few pointers to get you prepared. And if you are still a bit muddled, seek professional advice or a music licensing agency to manage this for you.

1. Copyright is automatically granted to the original creator of a works. There is no registry in Australia or New Zealand.

2. Copyright, as per the Copyright Act 1968, covers original works of text, artistic works, music, computer programs, sound recordings and films.

3. A Copyright Owner has the exclusive right to grant reproduction rights of your material or the right to perform the works in public.

4. A Copyright Owner can prevent others from reproducing or communicating their work without their permission.

In Australia and New Zealand, copyright is automatically granted as soon as it is put into material form, meaning recorded or written.

So if you were contemplating ‘borrowing’ someone else’s work to include in your Social media video, it is advisable to achieve copyright clearance before you hit POST.

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.

Developing a brand is such a critical element of your long term success. You want everyone to know your name and buy your brand, but what happens when your brand becomes the generic name for that product or service?

Genericism is the situation where a registered trademark becomes the industry name. It is the result of a brand becoming too successful. Is that the ultimate definition of irony?

Not sure what we mean? How about Biro, Xerox, Rollerblade, Thermos and Bandaid. These were once registered marks but are now merely a category label. Who wants to say roller ball pen, photocopier, in-line skates, insulated flask or adhesive dressing? The brand names are much cooler:

And who ‘searches the internet’? We Google it.

What about a having your turn on a ‘personal watercraft’? No, we blat it on a Jet Ski.

On the news at night do you hear the journalist describe a police situation where the baddie is disabled with an ‘electroshock weapon’. No, the villain was Tasered.

While this may appear to be the pinnacle of brand leadership, it can cause the opposite effect to category leadership. Without brand name exclusivity, a brand then has no competitive advantage when attempting to distinguish its product. This spells great news for your competitors.

The lesson learned is that from the commencement of your trademark, avoid using it as a noun or verb. A trademark is an adjective. And make sure you mange your communication strategy to ensure that you avoid genericism.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and 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.

As a Licensing company which deals with Brands and Trademarks, we often here these two words interchanged in the course of a conversation with a Client. While in some circumstances they can be the same, in a number of instances the elements of a brand are not a trademark.

Let us explain, and this may help you when you are chatting with us to protect your greatest assets – your brand! A brand is cultivated through years of careful planning, structure and communication. It is multi-dimensional, it has values, core elements, a style, a market position. There are rules associated with your brand and how this can be used to engage with consumers.

Of all the elements that compile your brand, there are specific ones that can be Trademarked to protect you from infringers and those who wish to pass off on your goodwill.

So which of your brand assets can you trademark? You may be surprised with some of these elements that are acceptable as trademarks in the regulations of the Trademarks Act 1995 for Australia.

The definition in the Law is that includes the following or any combination of the following: any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent.

It is a really comprehensive list. So now step back and look at all the elements that constitute your own Brand. Do you have a name [word], a logo [device], an unusual aspect of packaging, a specific colour that you use in your market? What about a sound – like a jingle that is absolutely renown as yours? Perhaps your brand is a unique smell.

A trademark is also tangible. It sits on your balance sheet as an asset. For a Brand Owner, this gem of knowledge can help with the value of your company. So perhaps you should really get that trademark programme underway to protect your assets and monetise your brand value.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and 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.

It is still staggering to us how frequently we meet Business Owners who do not deem it important to register their brand as a Trademark. You spend all day building your brand, creating a reputation, managing its presence in the market. Why not protect this hard work? And when we share this list, they can not hide their surprise. So here is a quick download of all the reasons why you should.

Just because you own your business name, a cool logo and have a domain name does not mean that you are protected from other businesses who want to promote themselves the same way. Registering you trademark is the fastest and most cost-effective way to gain legal exclusivity for the use of Your Name and Your Logo.

A brand has more financial value when it is is a Trademark. Yes, goodwill sits in your Balance Sheet but a Trademark is also accounted for as an Asset. Woohoo! Trademarks can help you value-up your business if you intend to sell it.

Trademark registration affords you that extra level of protection over your brand and increases your rights against those who infringe on on it.

Only a Trademark can be infringed upon and you are protected by the Trademarks Act 1995. When another person uses your trademark they are passing off and it may also be misleading and deceptive conduct under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. If you don’t have trademark registration then your only protection is Consumer Law.

The Trademarks registry is published online for anyone to view so it becomes difficult for an infringer to deny they had any knowledge of your mark.

Once you have a registered mark, helps to make it more difficult for future registration of confusing or conflicting market. You can oppose the registration of another mark which you feel may be confusingly similar to your registered mark.

If you do find a person using your mark, then can start the process with a “cease and desist” letter. If this needs to escalate, the process to take a person to court under the Trademarks Act 1995 is less expensive than for owners of unregistered trademarks as you need to prove reputation. This can be time consuming and expensive under “common law” rights.

Registration is for ten years then is renewable.

Your trademark has a defined territory, example Australia, so you can trade confidently and continue to grow your brand’s recognition in its core product or service offering.

You can control the use of your brand and trademark through licensing.

Protect yourself from infringement claims. Using your registered trademarks gives you a defense should another person try and impose an infringement claim on you.

Creating a brand is a really important element to your business value arsenal. Take heed of this list and register your mark with a Trademarks Attorney today.

Untapped Agency offers Trademarks Attorney services and 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.

With our impending elections, it is a great time to consider whether one of our politicians is allowed to use any artist’s song to rally the crowd. What copyright protection does an artist have against your works becoming the battle-cry anthem for a Poli?

Flash to Donald Trump and “Eye of the Tiger” at present. Were you aware that Steven Tyler, Adele and Neil Young (to name a few) all respectfully asked Mr. Trump to cease using their songs? It has been assured that the Trump Team did have all of the licenses through the venues under their blanket music license,so my copyright infringement issues to date.

But what are the copyright rules here in Australia? A blanket music license, such as one sought from APRA AMCOS could be sufficient to allow the song to be bellowed from the speakers at an event. So then there is the question of Moral Rights. Under the Copyright Act, an artist right of integrity authorship allows their “right not to have the work subjected to derogatory treatment” which may eventuate due the “exhibition in public of the work that is prejudicial to the author’s honour or reputation because of the manner or place in which the exhibition occurs” (Section 195AK).

Further, does the use of the song by a Politician then infer that the artist is endorsing the Politician and Political Party? If not, then does this cause misleading and deceptive conduct under Section 18 of the ACL Australian Consumer Law?

It will be interesting to see which songs are selected by our Poli’s as they start the long sprint to the voting day. Will they get it right – the song, the license and the polite and private permission from the artistic authors?

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.

How many times have you entered yourself into a competition which requires a Selfie doing something specific to be eligible? Usually this very innocent with the Competition Host (brand owner) asking to to do something fun or special showcasing their product.

Recently in the UK with travel company Thomson, this competition was no different. In fact, it was lovely. All contestants need do was send in a photo that made them smile. Five lucky winners would then receive a £2,000 holiday voucher.

A winning entrant was from David Bellis with his three year old son Jacob. They posed with a horse in the background. How sweet. They were standing on public land and the horse was on private property. When details of the competition were published, the owner of the horse in the photo (called Betty – the horse that it), the owner claimed they never gave consent for Betty’s image to be taken and wanted a some of the winnings for themselves. She even threatened that David and Jacob be removed as winners of the competition.

So what are the rules for copyright ownership in a situation like this in Australia?

In the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Betty’s owner can not claim ownership of the photo. This is because the photographer – in this case David – owns the photo and may use it for their own discretion.

So here in Australia, is this a privacy issue? According to the Arts Law Centre of Australia, taking a photo from a public place has no restriction on taking photographs of people on private property. Precedence law (Victoria Park Racing and Recreation Grounds Co Ltd v Taylor (1937)) details that if you can be seen then you can be photographed. So if people who are photographed on their property from a public location have no legal claim against you if what is captured in the photograph can be seen from the street, then could we be a little assumptive that this also applies for our animals?

An interesting situation to consider when you are photographing and posting your life online.

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.

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.

Thanks to the success of STAR WARS (another Disney acquisition) and the innovative licensed merchandise programme off the back of the blockbuster movie takings, Disney tops the ranks as the World’s Most Powerful Brand.

This list released in February 2016 is compiled annually by Brand Finance, a world leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

But it is not just STAR WARS that is attributing to this top ranking. Disney’s ownership of franchises including ESPN, Pixar, The Muppets and Marvel and Disneyland, plus the back catalogue of Mickey, Winnie the Pooh and many Disney Princesses, escalated the brand for the last year.

The top ten most powerful brands are:

1. Disney
2. Lego
3. L’Oreal
4. PriceWaterhouseCoopers
5. McKinsey & Company
6. Nike
7. Johnson’s
8. Coca-Cola
9. NBC
10. Google

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.

If you are in business or have a terrific idea that will act as the launch your business, chances are that you already have a brand.

By definition, a trademark, is any ‘sign’ that you use to distinguish your products and/or services from those of other people. A ‘sign’ could be a name, slogan, logo, image, colour, shape, scent or even a sound (or a combination of these things).

For business owners, more often your potential trademark are names or logos. This is what you refer your consumers to by way of saying this is my product/service and you know that you are buying authentic. Registering your business name is not enough as it does not give you exclusive rights to use that name; however a trademark will.

The benefits of registering your ‘sign’ as a trademark include:

  • The right to use the name or logo, in connection with the goods or services nominated. Owning your business name and domain name is not enough.
  • The right to authorise the use of the name or logo in connection with the consumer goods or services. A must if you want to launch a licensing programme to generate new income.
  • The right to start legal action against people found to be infringing your rights.

Here at Untapped Agency, we manage the licensing programmes for iconic global and domestic brands. Thsi relies on licensing of their tradmarks to protect the Manufacturers and Retailers. It also allows consumers to ability to know they are buying genuine brands that they love.

Untapped Agency can register your Trademark with our Trademarks Attorney services. 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.

Executives, brand owners and licensing professionals preparing for another big year as we create innovative and incredible licensing programmes, it is time to focus on the top trends in licensing.

1. Scattered Consumer Market – traditional licensing has dominated the mass retail chains, clearly identifiable with entertainment licensing (think kids character in every category), and now the mass retail dynamic of predictable licensed goods are dramatically changing. The visible retail migration to include niche brands has been opened as consumer channels for buying also evolve. We are now seeing more unique brands creating even more exciting brand extensions.

2. Original Brand Extensions – brands are now diversify into refreshing new consumer lifestyle products making a compelling and interpersonal consumer relationship. New categories, new target audiences, new geographical locations and co-licensing are driving new revenue.

3. Mobile Consumers – the Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2015 (The Australian Cut) provided insight that mobile consumers aged between 25-34 were most likely to browse shopping sites weekly (84% regularly) converting to 64% making a purchase online. Speed of your retail site, ease of shipping (or free!) and a simple returns policy are creating a headache for the traditional bricks and mortar. This is especially true if the licensed brand extension is exclusive/hard to get than a mass brand.

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.