Below is an excerpt from
John McKeown's December Mailer where he discusses
protecting brand advertising.
The term "brand execution" refers to the communication
of the brand image to customers. The brand image is made up of
individual consumer's perceptions of brand attributes and
associations from which they derive symbolic value. Once
established, the brand image defines the meaning that customers
associate with the brand or, in short, what the brand stands
Brand execution is the total experience created by the brand
owner. It begins with the way the telephone is answered and
includes how products and services are delivered, quality and
service philosophies, sales procedures, communications and
A brand association is anything that is linked in a
consumer's memory with a brand. For example, McDonald's is
linked to the cartoon character, Ronald McDonald. A link to a brand
is stronger when it is based on many experiences or exposures
rather than a few. The brand image is a set of associations
organized in a meaningful way. A brand is positioned by emphasizing
From the consumer's point of view the brand must deliver the
image and the values it symbolizes. The brand is the brand
owner's promise to consistently deliver the components which
make it up. The promise operates at different levels which vary
from product to product. For items which are commodities, tangible
attributes and price may be more important but for products driven
by image the emphasis is on the intangible.
The terms "brand position" or "brand
positioning" are used to mean the message that a brand owner
wishes to imprint in the minds of customers about its brand and how
it differs from and offers something better than its competitors.
Frequently, this is accomplished through advertising consisting of
a motivating, persuasively communicated message that provides
targeted prospects with a reason why they should consider and
remember the advertised product as being able to deliver the brand
Advertising is an integral part of brand execution. It is
important to understand how advertising can be protected and the
legal rules applicable to it.
I have been asked by both the American Bar Association and the
Canadian Bar Association to attend at a round table meeting in
Washington, D.C. on December 12 organized by the United States
Patent and Trademark Office entitled "Ensuring the Accuracy
and Integrity of the Trademark Register". I will be discussing
Canadian Section 45 proceedings. These proceedings are of a summary
nature and assist brand owners in removing dead wood from the
A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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