Protecting a company’s intellectual property can have multiple benefits. In addition to providing a mechanism to take action against an infringing party, it can also help a business brand itself. This is because when consumers associate a specific image or design with a company they like, it could prompt them to purchase the good. Throughout the years a design could even become iconic.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this is the iconic Coca-Cola bottle. A patent for the bottle was applied for 100 years ago this month.
That patent application, which was tweaked before the bottles made their debut a year later, was filed a couple of decades after the product first became available. Originally sold by the glass at a soda counter, the business recognized the necessity of creating uniform packaging for the beverage. A century later, the bottle with curves, is recognized by most, regardless of whether they enjoy the beverage or not, as being associated with the soft drink.
While now a large international company, Coca-Cola started small. The decision to patent the bottle so early on it the life of the business, likely played a part in the success of the business throughout the years. This outcome can serve as a reminder to other companies of the importance of taking steps to protect their intellectual property early on in the life of the business. An intellectual property attorney can help determine whether a patent, trademark or copyright registration makes sense. The best way to proceed will depend upon the specific business.