Trade marks can be a powerful tool for protecting branding associated with VR/AR technology. Vicky Butterworth, an intellectual property lawyer of FBCC member Marks & Clerk tells more about the topic in her latest article featured on VR AR Pioneers:
Trade marks act as a badge of origin, identifying goods and services of one business from another. In order to attract registered trade mark protection a ‘sign’ must, amongst other things, be capable of being represented clearly and precisely.
It is not essential to seek registered trade mark protection for your brand, but there are clear advantages in doing so rather than relying on unregistered trade mark rights in your brand. A registered trade mark is an asset which can be commercially exploited and can help to attract and persuade investors, is relatively easy to enforce against infringers compared to unregistered trade mark rights and
can act as a good deterrent against copycats and free-riders.
As technology has progressed, so has the sophistication and scope of trade mark protection. ‘Non-traditional’ types of trade mark now include sounds, motions, holograms, gestures and moving images. This opens up the possibility of finding creative ways to protect different VR/AR mechanics as registered trade marks.
A trade mark registration gives the owner exclusive use of the mark, so it is important to carefully consider how wide to cast your net with your trade mark ‘specification’. What about using third party branding in the VR/AR space? If considering using a third party brand in VR/AR technology, care must be taken. A sensible starting point would be to seek express clearance from the brand owner.
Last but not least, a strong brand identity will help set you apart from your competitors. Suitable registered trade mark protection (which may cover more than one ‘sign’) will help support, nurture and protect your brand both now and in the future.
Read more of the initiative from VR AR Pioneers.