09 April 2009

Proof That Some Lawyers *Do* Get It

Not just right, but very well put:

I often explain to clients and prospective clients that the main reward for a great, original product is a successful business based on that product. Intellectual property notwithstanding, the best way to protect most great ideas is by consistently excellent execution, high quality, responsive customer service, continued innovation and overall staying ahead of the competition by delivering more value. Absent the rare circumstance of an entire industry dedicated to counterfeits, à la Vuitton, if an enterprise can’t fathom protecting its value proposition without some kind of gaudy trademark protection, ultimately something has to give.

Fender, according to the record in this opinion, understood the truth well for decades. It warned consumers to stick with its quality “originals” and not to be fooled by “cheap imitations,” and it flourished. But for all these years, Fender never claimed to think the sincerest form of flattery was against the law. Only in the feverish IP-crazy atmosphere of our current century did the company deem it “necessary” to spend a fortune that could have been used on product development, marketing or any darned thing on a quixotic quest for a trademark it never believed in itself. That is more than an impossible dream — it’s a crying shame.

(Via Luis Villa's blog.)

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