The critical role of trademark-intensive industries in Latin America
Trademark-intensive industries in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries play a highly influential role in their economic growth, according to a study commissioned jointly by the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the InterAmerican Association of Intellectual Property (ASIPI). The study, Economic Impact in 10 Latin America and Caribbean Countries, outlined why all stakeholders must work together to protect intellectual property (IP) from infringement to minimise disruptions to economic growth, employment and trade.
IMPACT OF TRADEMARK-INTENSIVE INDUSTRIES TO LAC ECONOMIES
The study, which analysed data from 10 LAC countries, revealed several key findings about trademark-intensive industries, which include:
- They contribute an average of 22 percent ($767 billion) to the GDP
- They employ an average of 18 percent of the workforce (35 million workers)
- They pay wages that are 57 percent higher than other industries
- They account for 31 perfect of all exports
- They account for 34 percent of all imports
In Costa Rica and Guatemala, trademark-intensive industries account for a phenomenal 42 percent and 34 percent of the GDP!
HOW BUSINESSES CAN PROTECT THEIR TRADEMARK
Considering the importance of trademarks, it stands to reason that businesses must ensure their IP are sufficiently protected. The three most important steps include:
- Registering the trademark
Businesses cannot enforce their rights without registering their IP in advance. This is why it is so vital for businesses to register their trademarks at the first opportunity. Assign dedicated staff to take control of the registration, as well as the renewal process, to ensure your rights to a trademark are documented.
- Display your trademarks
Display your trademarks strongly across all your web and brick and mortar properties. Be sure to include the marks on all product lines as well, to enhance consumer and end-user awareness. By doing so, not only will you create a permanent branding with your customer, it will also create awareness with your competitors, which could serve as a deterrent.
- Monitoring the market
Businesses cannot rely exclusively on the goodwill of their customers to detect trademark infringements. They have to be proactive and monitor competitors and marketplaces. This could include online and offline materials. More resources should be allocated during peak seasons to curtail the spread of illicit copies of their products.
If these three steps are in place, enforcement actions will become much easier to accomplish.