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The Importance of Brand Names

In an age where many argue that trademarks are getting over enforced, I thought this post was a nice reminder of why we have trademarks in the first place and what can happen when the underlying quality fades:

Six Brands that Don’t Mean What They Used To

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Brand Names”

  1. It’s an interesting story, but I’m not sure that the common thread is that brands suffer when quality fades and/or greedy, vision-less owners take control. One might conclude that brands suffer when consumer demand shifts for other reasons. Greedy, vision-less owners may be effect, rather than cause.

    In any case, I took special note of the Westinghouse bit and the fact that the current incarnation of Westinghouse is dismissed because it “only” makes nuclear reactors. The bar-circle-W certainly doesn’t have the scale or cachet in Pittsburgh that it once did, but nothing does. The current Westinghouse is, however, a major employer here and a significant role player in the current (and alleged) “revitalization” of the Steel City. Moreover, the *original* Westinghouse is still well represented in the region’s business community and especially in its patent bar.

  2. I’m not sure that I agree with Michael R. that the story reminds us why we have TMs in the first place. It seems to me that TMs and TM law are precisely what allows a mark to be licensed to another company that may cause a decline in the mark’s goodwill (or if Mike M is correct the license may occur after the value of the goodwill is already declining). In either case, the existence of TMs and TM law allows for (or possibly facilitates) these results.

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