The Role Of Trade Marks In Comparative Advertising Marketing Essay

Intellectual belongings, mentioning to the different, alone and distinguishable type of creative activity of the head of one or several persons is recognized and protected under jurisprudence[ 1 ]. Without such Torahs, people would freely copy the thoughts of others and go through them off as their ain, denying them any possible benefits that the pioneers would acquire from their creative activities[ 2 ]. As such, hallmarks have been developed to place one ‘s creative activity through the usage of a typical mark or index that will be used to depict the beginning and originality of the merchandise and separate it from those of other pioneers[ 3 ].

These hallmarks can so be registered and entirely used by those companies for intents of publicizing their merchandises. In the event that a peculiar individual efforts to illicitly utilize the creative activities of this individual without proper consent, rational belongings jurisprudence allows them to prosecute legal action against such persons[ 4 ]. Hallmarks can be represented through the usage of Sons, names, images, labels, signatures, words, missive, numerical form of goods, packaging, colour or combination of colour, odor, sound, motion or nay combination of the above that clearly distinguishes the goods and services of one organisation from one another[ 5 ].

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Economic Benefits of Hallmarks

Assorted economic deductions have led to the addition in the usage of hallmarks by companies all over the universe. Trademarks enable communicating between the clients and the proprietors of the company due to the fact that clients can place the merchandises belonging to one company at a glimpse. In a market that is flooded with merchandises from several companies, clients need that sort of simple yet effectual communicating to be able to rapidly place the company ‘s merchandises from the shelves[ 6 ]. In instances where a company produces several merchandises, the hallmark can be the consolidative factor between these merchandises enabling communicating to the client about the presence of new merchandises in the market from the same company ; this enables the house to accomplish a competitory advantage.

Hallmarks besides add intangible features to merchandises doing the trade name merely non a show of quality but a pleasance of ingestion[ 7 ]. Sometimes, people may purchase the name of the merchandise and what it is associated with instead than the quality of the merchandise itself. This is a construct that has been used by several companies whereby they associate their merchandises with a certain degree of stature or famous person such that by mere ingestion of these merchandises, a certain degree of pleasance ingestion is achieved. This is a construct that engages the psychological and emotional feelings of the consumers doing the hallmark go far beyond the Restoration of an information shortage and in so making, addition and keep a high market portion.

Hallmarks cut down the consumer ‘s mental and internal hunt costs by changing their behaviour through the usage of symbols that trigger certain positive associations. There are frequently really many merchandises on the market and clients may frequently acquire confused about some of these merchandises being that they have ne’er used them before[ 8 ]. In most instances, hallmarks enable clients to place with certain merchandises being that they have been in the market for long. As a consequence, they are more willing to pass money on merchandises that they have tried and tested ; have been there for a long clip instead than put on the line letdown with merchandises that they have ne’er tried before. Hence these hallmarks give them a signifier of quality safety that they can place with[ 9 ]. Their determinations are based on merchandises that they have a good feeling or intuitive feeling about instead than looking at all merchandises rationally. In many instances, clients have intuitively bought merchandises merely because of their hallmarks and left other superior merchandises merely because they could non cognitively place with them ; they do non do a rational determination.

Hallmarks signify a company ‘s willingness to accept the commercial quality and duty for a peculiar merchandise giving it a good repute in the market[ 10 ]. This is because most clients would volitionally buy something that they know the proprietor has accepted liability and assured quality for instead than an unknown merchandise in the market which in the even of a job can non be traced back to the maker. These hallmarks frequently provide masks for the manufacturers and distributer of these goods and services being that a hallmark may prevail over a long economic period but the merchandise, its quality and its makers may alter over clip[ 11 ].

This is seen in company conversions where the proprietors of the companies change custodies after a certain period of clip as is seen when a company faces disputing economic state of affairss. Other companies may ab initio set about all production of goods and services but may in the long tally bomber contract some of the undertakings to other companies. These displacements and alterations need non be seeable to clients ; a province of stableness which is assured through the usage of hallmarks[ 12 ].

United Kingdom and European Trade Mark Laws

In the United Kingdom ( UK ) hallmarks are besides normally used as a signifier of one interior decorator or pioneer separating themselves from others to supply a certain individuality that makes them stand out from the remainder. These hallmarks are bound under their hallmark Torahs that allow for the proprietor of the hallmark to lawfully support his grade against illegal usage and violation by 3rd parties. In relation to the Trade Marks Act 1994, a individual who illicitly used the hallmark by utilizing a trade mark[ 13 ]which is indistinguishable with the trade grade that has already been registered and there is a likeliness of confusion on the portion of the populace as a consequence. Similarly, illegal usage is besides realized when one individual uses an indistinguishable mark to bring forth goods that are dissimilar and its usage poses an unjust advantage and via media to the grade ‘s typical repute if the merchandises are of lower quality.

All hallmarks in the UK are supposed to be registered through the usage of the UK Intellectual Property Office where if the enrollment is accepted so sole rights are given to the Godhead of the trade grade. Critical analysis is frequently done on the typical nature of the trade grade that is being registered before it is registered to guarantee that it is non found in any lexicons, are descriptive and distinguishable in their nature[ 14 ]. To show that a grade is typical, it has to be tested for a certain period of clip and cogent evidence of sharpness quantified through the usage of gross revenues that the company achieves as a consequence of the usage of the hallmark.

Certain statute laws have been enacted to guarantee that organisations conform to the regulations of trade utilizing these Markss. A good illustration if the Trade Marks Act 1994 which provides for both civil and condemnable jurisprudence countenances on the abuse of these hallmarks. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ( TRIPPS ) is besides another international understanding that was implemented in 1994 by the World Trade Organization that stipulates the minimal criterions for many signifiers of Intellectual belongings ordinance among the member states. It besides describes demands that states must run into in relation to their right of first publication rights, geographical indicants, rights of performing artists, manufacturers of sound recordings and airing organisations. Enforcement processs, redresss and difference declaration process are besides stipulated in this understanding to guarantee that manufacturers and users of their technological cognition reciprocally profit[ 15 ].

The European Union Trade Mark Directive is besides another jurisprudence that was introduced in 1988 supplying commissariats aimed at harmonising the disparities in the assorted hallmark Torahs that were present among states within the European Union. Movement of goods within the European Union was impeded coercing the states into a deformed signifier of competition ; a affair that was harmonized by this directive. This hallmark directive besides stipulated the exclusion of the usage of certain marks in the development of hallmarks among member provinces ; these included fallacious marks, customary marks in trade and marks that were contrary to public policy.

Comparative Ad

Ad is the procedure of portraying some desirable facets or qualities of a merchandise to the consumer in an effort to lure them so that they can buy the company ‘s merchandises. Often, manufacturers are more interested in increasing their grosss through an addition in the sale of their merchandises[ 16 ]. A mechanism of selling is derived such that the costs that they incur in advertisement do non transcend those that they receive in signifier of gross as a consequence of their advertisement runs. Often, the trade name and hallmarks of the goods that are being advertised come out clearly throughout the advertizement.

In a recent command to picture the consumer as the donee of the whole advertisement procedure, advertizements have evolved to include certain pieces of good information to the consumer who plays a really inactive function in the whole advertisement procedure. Consumers have the cardinal function of quest for information on assorted merchandises in the market and is what governs their determination as to whether they purchase a merchandise or non. Consumers besides face a certain significant fringy gross in the advertizement ; this fringy gross should non be greater than the clip cost to the consumer in order for him to analyze the advertizement and size up it[ 17 ]. The indirect costs of the advertizement itself are frequently shared between the manufacturers and the consumers as they are reflected in the cost of the merchandises. Hence this places certain restraints on the sum and type of advertizements that a peculiar trade name utilizations.

Comparative advertisement is a selling scheme that involves carry oning a direct comparing between two specific merchandises ; one belonging to one ‘s company and the other belonging to a viing company for the express intent of demoing why the other rival ‘s merchandises are inferior to one ‘s merchandises. There is frequently specific description and reference of the rival ‘s merchandises after which a comparing may be straight made or implied seldom in a obscure mode. This description of lower status is frequently suggested to the rival ‘s merchandises in a command to seek and lure the consumers to buy the evidently superior merchandise that the company is advancing. This procedure relies to a great extent on verifiable informations that has been researched over a period of clip to guarantee that their claims of high quality and lower status are good supported with facts sooner on informations that has been collected from a consumer study[ 18 ].

Competitive selling is favored in some scenes because it does non make confusion in the consumer ‘s head about the beginning of the goods or services marked, advancing consumer public assistance and free competition as a consequence. As a consequence, the Torahs of comparative advertisement require that the advertizement be precise and true to guarantee that consumers are non confused. The cost paid by consumers has two constituents normally the monetary value of the good and the hunt cost ensuing from the clip that the consumer spends before they purchase the good.

Therefore if a client has two options, the trade name that they know nil about and the trade name that they know everything about ; the consumer may happen it more hazardous to purchase the trade name that has non been advertised hence they know nil about. Hence comparative advertisement provides information that assists consumers in doing determinations about two merchandises as a consequence of the two sides of information that are provided in this signifier of advertisement[ 19 ]. This provides them with a footing for measuring the virtues of each hence bettering their overall public assistance.

New merchandises come ining the market frequently have challenges interrupting though the bing trade names even if their merchandise is superior to theirs. Competitive advertisement enables them to derive a competitory border through the advertizement of their merchandises with the specification of merely the new characteristics that it has every bit compared to the 1s that already exist in the market. Unfortunately, merely true facts used in comparative advertisement can assist the consumers with determination devising and let for just competition. Some companies have been known to prosecute in some unjust maizes of competitory advertisement doing the whole scheme avoided by most companies[ 20 ].

The legal nature of comparative advertisement is a topic of a batch of arguments because of the fact that these advertizements contain a batch of information as compared to other advertizements with the possible maltreatment of one merchandise for the intent of profiting the other merchandise. Hence a clear balance has to be struck between the advertizer and the consumer and the advertizer and the rival to guarantee that a clear articulation of the struggle of involvement between the assorted parties are addressed.

However, comparative advertisement should be used with cautiousness to guarantee that the right message that is intended is what is portrayed[ 21 ]. Mentioning a rival ‘s name on an advertizement increases the opportunities of the audience inquiring whether the advertizement was meant to advance the merchandises of the rival as good ; for those who may non wish to buy flawlessness. The ocular representation of the rival ‘s advertizements besides form an feeling on the consumer ‘s heads doing it seem like the company is potentially spending money on the publicity of the rival ‘s merchandises. This can be black merely if a bulk of the consumers perceive this to be the purpose of the company in which instance the whole facet of comparative advertisement plants against them.

The function of Branding and Trademarks in Comparative Ad

It is of import to include hallmarks in the procedure of advertisement because it provides a typical grade that can be used in placing goods and services that are produced by a peculiar company. This is of import in comparative advertisement because frequently, the consumer may non be able to place with the qualities that are described in the merchandise particularly if the consumers are non familiar with the merchandise. Hence hallmarks offer of import symbols that the clients can utilize when they are shopping and place the merchandise at a glimpse.

These hallmarks besides provide a agency by which these goods and services can be linked to the market and other information about them generated through the images and the images that have been used. This is to state that if a certain merchandise self-praises of superior quality and the client is forced to do a determination so they may travel for the grade that best describes what they are looking for in footings of the ocular representation or otherwise. Goods from one manufacturer may be linked together through the usage of the hallmark utilizing images that allow the consumer to link the two merchandises[ 22 ].

Hallmarks have the potency of pulling the attending of the consumers particularly when used in advertisement invariably. Peoples may even place more with the trade grade than the merchandise itself and even stop up naming the merchandise by its trade grade or trade name name alternatively of what it genuinely is. This is seen in the word picture of the trade grade aa‚¬A“Dettolaa‚¬A? used alternatively of saying what it is ; an antiseptic. This greatly influences their behaviour in relation to the type of merchandises that they purchase in a competitory market.

Competitive advertisement has evolved as a consequence of the possible dangers and societal deductions that are associated with straight calling rivals[ 23 ]. Companies have now resorted to placing with certain properties that are straight associated with a certain merchandise and stating or advertisement that their merchandises have superior properties than those that viing merchandises have. This is perceived as a safer derivative signifier of competitory advertisement that ensures that companies advertise their merchandises, province their high quality over other viing merchandises but at the same clip make non straight advert these companies.

Some of the possible jobs that arose because of the usage of comparative advertisement are depicted in the instance summaries below:

British Airways plc V Ryanair Limited ( Jacob J. ; 5 December 2000 ) [ 2001 ] FSR 32

In this authoritative instance of comparative advertisement, British Airways brought an action for trade grade violation and malicious falsity against Ryanair for the production and release of two advertizements nicknaming British Airways as an expensive air hose and using the usage of derogative linguistic communication to make so[ 24 ]. This advertizement aimed at conveying to attending the airlineaa‚¬a„?s expensive air menus and the tribunal ruled that the usage of the Plaintiff ‘s trade grade constituted a honest comparing because the inside informations were accurate and non intend to misdirect the populace in any manner.

Barclays Bank PLC v RBS Advanta ( 1996 RPC 307, Chancery Division )

In this instance, the suspect ‘s advertizement was based on the belongingss of its recognition card ; the possible benefits that it posed to its clients[ 25 ]. It besides included the complainant ‘s card for a comparing giving cusps about 15 ways in which Barclay ‘s Bank ‘s recognition cards were inferior to RBS Advanta ‘s. The tribunal regulations in favour of the suspect saying that the advertizement was honorable and by and large the bank offered the clients a better trade.

Vodafone Group PLC V Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd ( 1997 FSR 34 )

Vodafone Group PLC placed an injunction to halt Orange Personal Communication Services from puting an advertizement in which the suspect ‘s duties were compared to the complainant ‘s[ 26 ]. The tribunals ruled that this advertizement was non meant to be misdirecting in any manner owing to the fact that the duties offered by the suspect were really lower.

Cable & A ; Wireless PLC v British Telecommunications ( 1998 FSR 383 ) [ 1998 ] FSR 383

British Telecommunications was accused of publishing an advertisement booklet that compared the monetary values of its telephone services with those of Cable & A ; Wireless PLC[ 27 ]. The tribunals ruled in favour of the suspect saying that the information that the provided in those booklets were non false and hence they had non committed any discourtesy.

O2 Ltd & A ; O2 ( UK ) Ltd V Hutchison 3G UK Ltd ( 2004 WL ) ETMR 853 ( ECJ )

Hutchison 3G UK Ltd made a comparing between its telephone services and those of O2 Ltd & A ; O2 ( UK ) Ltd saying that those of the complainant were significantly higher than their as portion of their competitory advertisement scheme.[ 28 ]The tribunal ruled in favour of the suspect saying that the comparings that were made sing the telephone services were true hence a defence against violation.

The development of a trade name based selling as a distinguishable signifier of economic activity in a globalized economic system

The development of trade name based selling has come from the simple fact that the messages that are used frequently elicit certain consumer reactions that have evolved over the ages ; this development has as a consequence, been necessitated by consumer reactions ( Morash, 2006 ) . Initially, trade name based selling was meant to increase the grosss that a company received from the sale of the goods before it evolved into a consumer information system. This type of selling now aims at supplying the consumers with information about a certain trade name so that consumers can do informed picks.

This paved manner to the comparative selling of trade names that allowed for clear comparings to picture high quality over one trade name that ensures clients get a better trade. From the print media to the telecasting and movie media came e-marketing that involved the usage of cyberspace installations to advance certain trade names. Brand based selling that was ab initio done at local degrees has been carried to national and even international degrees taking to a globalized system of information that has seen trade names being recognized throughout the universe ( Levine, 2003 ) . In visible radiation of this, trade name based selling is now non merely involved in the mere advertisement of one ‘s trade name but besides comparative advertisement with other trade names in the market through the usage of other sophisticated methods of advertisement like the cyberspace.


Hallmarks are a cardinal symbol to a company as it represents their creative activities and inventions that they have placed in the market in order to derive a competitory border. They are frequently used to enable the clients identify with their merchandises and salvage them shopping clip as they select from a assortment of manufacturers all bring forthing the same merchandise. These hallmarks are protected by jurisprudence and their illegal usage be it the trade name names or images that make up the trade grade, can take to tribunal instances whereby the beginning or unauthorised usage is contested. These hallmarks are most normally used in comparative advertisement whereby one company uses the merchandises and services of another company to exemplify the superior nature of its ain merchandises.

Several companies have been sued in the yesteryear as a consequence of the legal deductions that comparative advertisement airss[ 29 ]. A company may non take it kindly if its merchandises are compared to other merchandises over public media and the inferior nature of their merchandises depicted. It is therefore of import that trade name directors base the information that is included in these advertizements is verifiable. This ensures that the information released can be substantiated in which instance the method of advertisement become legal. Partial consequences are frequently non included in these advertizements because of the nature of uncomplete and inconclusive generalisations that clients can pull from them.

Competitor ‘s Markss are besides non frequently altered in any manner during the production of the advertizement to guarantee that the complete message reaches the consumers with the chief deduction of the advertizement being to inform the clients of the charges or monetary values of the rival and non to below the belt knock or assail their merchandises and services. The properties of the merchandises being compared should be those that have got some signifier of benefit to the client while positively conveying the virtues of the company ‘s merchandises. Abusive, aimless and derogative linguistic communication should be avoided because this may ensue in other signifier of misdemeanor of the rival ‘s rights.

With the possible benefits of comparative advertisement in head ; furthering competition between two companies and enabling consumers decide between two merchandises, it is clear that comparative advertisement is non about to vanish shortly. It is a construct that is easy being modified to cut down the direct reference of rival ‘s merchandises, trade name names and trade Markss to other more distinct signifiers of merely adverting the properties that are associated with the rival ‘s trade name and saying how the company ‘s merchandises is superior to them ( Griffiths, 2009 ) . This avoid the mussy legal confrontations between companies that has lead to loss of gross in tribunal instances seeking to seek compensation for potentially detrimental advertizements. In visible radiation of this, companies have got to be more responsible when they employ the usage of this scheme to demo regard for hallmarks that persons and groups and built and maintained over clip.



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