Set against a backdrop of the EU (Trademarks) Regulations 2018, which saw Ireland’s first major trademark law reform in over 20 years, global legal business DWF, is leading the drive to help Ireland’s retail industry protect their brands.
Eimear Collins, Executive Partner, DWF Dublin explains, "The pace of technological change has given retailers freedom and greater opportunity to trade beyond borders. We enable our clients to make the most of this change, creating sustainable growth, while reducing risk and protecting their brands".
"Our understanding of the retail market, global reach and innovative approach to legal services means we are uniquely placed to help businesses deliver retail strategies, meet commercial objectives and create deep connections with customers."
DWF Dublin recently held an event for key retail industry stakeholders, with experts in brand protection exploring how the change in trademark law will provide greater legal certainty for businesses with brands to protect, as well as advice on how retailers can navigate brand protection strategies, defamation claims, privilege and Brexit.
Speakers included Stephen Byrne BL who provided advice on how to effectively use legal privilege to protect IP rights in a later dispute, while Executive Partner of DWF’s Belfast office, Ken Rutherford, gave an all-Island overview on the implications Brexit will have on IP rights.
Meanwhile, DWF's Susan Connolly examined recent trends in defamation claims brought by customers who have been accused of theft by retailers. She said: "Defamation is a topical issue for the retail sector in light of an increase in such claims coming before the Courts. Businesses could find themselves on the receiving end of costly damages being awarded to claimants.
"In a bid to counter such claims, I would advise businesses to maintain timely and accurate reporting including taking witness statements and keep records for CCTV for example, up to date, so they can establish the facts quickly when a claim is received."
DWF's Ellen Keane provided useful strategies businesses can employ to manage and protect retail brands from unauthorised use of trademarks. This is particularly pertinent for businesses in the retail and hospitality sector given the changes implemented in the new European Union (Trade Mark) Regulations, which came into force in Ireland 14 January 2019, and the upcoming Irish Copyright and other IP Law Provisions Bill.
Ellen's advice included implementing anti-counterfeiting programmes to fight counterfeiters and recover lost income. Retailers can also protect their brands through the use of monitoring programmes which focus on keeping track of the use of trademarks and brand names by resellers.
Eimear concluded, “Whilst there are certainly challenges ahead for the retail sector, and with Brexit on the horizon, the opportunity to influence change is greater than ever. When it comes to brand protection, the team at DWF Dublin can help with business planning, ensure understanding of the bigger picture and help shape, not react to, the ever-evolving retail agenda."
Contact Eimear Collins, Ellen Keane or Susan Connolly at DWF Dublin on 01 790 9400 to learn more about how your business can protect its brand.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.