Understanding Trademark Challenges

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Today any large or small brand owner can reach a large audience around the world with minimal investment. Via the internet, barriers to commerce have been destroyed. This friction less business environment is however a two-edge sword for brand and trademark holders. Technology has made anonymous crime and trademark misuse incredibly easy.

Think of the ubiquitousness of smart phones and tablets and how easily an app can be created that infringes on a brand. Pretending to be related to a top brand can be one of the quickest ways to generate thousands of downloads for a new app. So what is a brand owner or trademark holder to do?

A proactive strategy that identifies potential misuse on various technology platforms before it takes place is necessary.

What Brands Have the Best Designed Defenses?

The Sublicensing Strategy: The Linux Foundation

Long ago the Linux Foundation setup a sublicense process for anyone desiring to the use the term "Linux" in their trademark or brand identifier for Linux-based software goods or services. This free, perpetual, world-wide sublicense provided to approved applicants promotes wise and fair use of the Linux mark, preventing dilution in exchange for requiring sublicensee holders to not challenge Linus Torvalds' ownership of the Linux mark in any jurisdiction.