Craft Focus - February/March 2022 (Issue 89)

92 What’s in a name? Dids Macdonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (ACID), looks at why brand clearance is critical in trademark protection Your brand identity is one of the most important assets of your business, it helps consumers distinguish and identify it from others. If you have a reputation for creating high quality designs and services of products this reputation will accrue in your brand. Businesses spend a lot on branding, but it is essential to incorporate brand clearance and protection into the development process. Adam Turley, an IP lawyer with ACID Legal Affiliates McDaniel’s Law, said, “Brand clearance should be an essential element of any brand creation exercise. Failure to carry out brand clearance may result in infringing upon third party rights. Implications resulting from infringement can be far reaching and costly, but ultimately may result in an injunction to prevent further use of the brand and damages and costs liabilities. Further costs would be incurred in rebranding, and all the time and effort spent building that brand would be lost. It’s relatively easy to do but easy to forget and could cost you dearly.” What is Brand Clearance? Quite simply, it is about due diligence and checks that need to be made before creating a new brand and/or new design range for which a trademark is being used. For example, it could be a new furniture range and you want to add trademark protection by registering the name or you could be a new start-up business or an existing business wanting to create additional brands. What is a Brand Clearance search? Seeking expert advice to carry out a full trademark search or other relevant clearance searches at the time the brand is created enables you to ensure the brand is available and free to use. This is essential if you are creating brand reputation, which will become key to your success as your brand grows. Anti Copying in Design’s (ACID) top tips: • Reduce exposure to future legal challenge by having a brand clearance policy. It pays by not putting the creator at risk from the consequences of expensive legal costs after a brand launch, without requisite checks. • Use specialist trademark lawyers, because they may discover