Brand protection

As the creator or manager of a brand, you know that it lives or dies on the ideas, designs, concepts and image that underpin it.

Protecting these creative foundations is paramount to the brand’s commercial value and your wider company’s success.

At Withers, we have been advising some of the world’s best-known luxury and consumer brands on how to protect themselves for more than 20 years. Our IP team manages the trade marks for Soho House, which began as a private members’ club in London and now includes restaurants, spas and retail offerings under the Cowshed brand across the globe, as well as advising leading fashion houses including Eley Kishimoto, MaxMara, Matthew Williamson and Valentino. Members of our team have also managed anti-counterfeiting programs for famous cartoon characters.

This heritage gives our legal counsel an extra dimension: we can help you to identify what makes your offering unique, and how to keep it that way. ‘You need to know your brand, protect its components and present it consistently around the world,’ says IP partner Kenneth Mullen.

We will work with you to devise brand guidelines and monitor your portfolios, using our extensive network of trusted agents around the world. Because of our in-depth knowledge of industries including technology, media, fashion, beauty and sport, the firm can also guide you as to the appropriate licensing structures.

Global firepower to enforce or defend your rights

With 16 international offices and a global network of trusted specialists, we are in a position to assess your profile and brand potential around the world. We have the global firepower to enforce or defend your rights.

As an example, we recently won a case for a retailer that had lost control of its brand in China. A local company had registered it and was demanding millions of dollars for its release. Throughout this time our client had been unable to open a shop in China while the fake brand could. ‘If you’ve got any international ambition at all, you need to think one step ahead and monitor what’s happening in your target markets, particularly in countries where brand-squatting is rife,’ advises Kenneth Mullen.

We also act for leading individuals in relation to protecting their personal image rights and brand, with particular experience in sport. We recently acted for Jurgen Klopp in relation to image rights regarding his appointment as manager of Liverpool FC. The IP team across a number of offices also act for tennis superstar Novak Djokovic in relation to licensing and protection of his image rights across the world.

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