Brand protection and the globalization of British business
Lopes, T. d. S. and Casson, M. (2012) Brand protection and the globalization of British business. Business History Review, 86 (2). pp. 287-310. ISSN 2044-768X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1017/S0007680512000414
In expanding on earlier analyses of the evolution of multinational business that have drawn from concepts of competition and innovation, this study examines the strategies used by British multinationals, between 1870 and 1929, to protect the global reputation of their brands, which were crucial to their survival and success. Even after the passage of new trademark legislation in 1876, enforcement of trademarks remained expensive, and often firms preferred to negotiate, rather than to prosecute violations. Many trademark imitators were based in the newly industrializing countries of the time—the United States, Germany, and Japan—and were part of the British export supply chains as licensees, franchisees, or wholesalers. British firms responded to infringements by lobbying governments, appointing local agents to provide intelligence, and collaborating with other firms.