I wonder at times about the integrity of the people who supposedly form part of our business community. We’ve recently had a start-up law firm decide the message we have developed over many years is good enough to imitate on their website. And in the same week a recruitment consultant decided to openly solicit one of our team by sending an email to the lawyer at his Redchip email address.
My instinct in both instances is to defend and protect our business and our staff, just as we would do for any of our clients. Unfortunately, in some instances, the law has not kept abreast of the flat digital world in which we operate. We talk about the lack of borders and boundaries, and sadly one of those is the copying and implementation of well resolved concepts, branding and business strategies, plus overt poaching of staff.
Whilst the recruiter wasn’t as much of an issue because I could address it upfront, and we have solid contracts and agreements with our team, the digital poaching is a more opaque issue. Whilst we fully protect Redchip’s brands and IP assets, there comes a point where you simply can’t protect creative thinking and strategy. Copyright laws may protect the content we produce; however, creative thinking and brand strategy can fall into a grey space – one which many of us argue the legislators should be addressing as a priority given the cost to business and healthy competition.
In the legal vacuum we face, all we can do is continue to deliver on our brand promise to our clients and the advisers who refer business to us. That’s the test of authenticity. No matter what any start-up website has to say, I know for certain it is in no way capable of delivering to clients what we do. It’s taken 20 years to finesse our service delivery and recruit the very best legal and support staff to take care of business for our clients.
That said, these instances are a useful reminder to every business owner and leader. Don’t take your obligations lightly in respect of protecting your IP and particularly your trade marks. Whilst someone can mimic your message, they can’t recreate your brand name, colours and logo without infringing on your rights. And the moment that happens, let us know and we will fight the battle. Better yet, we can now monitor for infringement on your behalf with our Brand Guard service – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information. Your brand is far too valuable to your business not to.