Imagine having to keep track of about 140 trademarks and 950 trademark registrations worldwide and to maintain every day a complete overview of when a trademark protection expires, whether a specific name may be used for a new product, or whether competitors in China, Russia or Uzbekistan apply for registration of close imitations of your company’s logo, slogan or other trademarks.
This pretty much sums up the daily challenges facing Lead IP & Innovation Counsel Rasmus Dalgaard Laustsen and his team colleagues at Grundfos’ legal department, who make the strategic decisions on the global water technology company’s trademarks and handle all trademark-related issues worldwide.
Flexibility and responsiveness
To get help with the day-to-day management of its trademarks, Grundfos has teamed up with Patrade, which ensures that Grundfos meets the formal deadlines for renewal of its trademark registrations, arranges for new trademarks to be registered and handles any disputes arising when a third party applies for registration of a mark resembling Grundfos’ trademarks.
“Patrade has the systems in place to keep track of all our trademarks worldwide, and its IP Highlighter software gives us the perfect overview of our portfolio and status for our registered trademarks as well as pending trademark registrations worldwide,” says Rasmus Dalgaard Laustsen.
This makes a big difference day to day in a complex job, as Grundfos’ in-house legal specialists have to juggle many projects simultaneously, with many urgent cases forcing them to clear their schedules and push non-urgent cases aside.
“Here it’s important and simply essential that we have Patrade as our anchor, ensuring that all deadlines are met, whether in Vietnam or Venezuela,” says Rasmus, who also emphasises that the invoicing feature on IP Highlighter is a great advantage.
“It may sound trivial, but we actually spend a lot of time on invoicing. Therefore, it means a lot to us that Patrade has been flexible and responsive to our requests for changes to its invoicing system to make it more user-friendly for us. The invoicing process used to be a little cumbersome, but now it’s a flexible and pragmatic system,” he says.
Flexible and agile solutions are also very valuable when it comes to registration of new trademarks. For instance, Grundfos had a brief window to ensure registration of the trademark iGRID, which is the name of a solution designed for temperature optimisation in district heating systems in real time.
“It means a lot that Patrade has an extensive network of local agents ready to help in places in the world where we don’t have a presence. All we need to do is call and explain the problem that we need help with. Then Patrade’s experts take it from there, handling all correspondence with local agents and saving us valuable time and a lot of in-house resources,” says Rasmus, who also uses Patrade as a strategic sounding board.
It may be everything from Grundfos needing an indication as to where it stands with respect to the outcome of a potential dispute to strategic advice on which path to take in a specific issue.
“Patrade’s extensive trademark experience is a great asset in our strategic deliberations, and being able to use Patrade as an expert sounding board for large and small issues is truly valuable for us. And in cases where the path we were recommended proved more challenging than we’d imagined, we’ve also had a constructive dialogue about that. That’s actually what characterises a valuable partnership – the opportunity to have a constructive dialogue,” says Rasmus.
At the same time, it is of great value that Patrade is able to act as a sounding board on a day-to-day basis and to provide expert advice when that is what is needed.
“In order to protect our rights as best as possible, it’s important that we’re at the forefront with different types of trademarks, which we register all over the world, and that means that Patrade also needs to be at the forefront with its advice. Most recently, we registered a motion trademark in the US and the EU, which is a new thing in the EU. In our case, we registered the indicator lamp, which we call the ‘Grundfos Eye’, which shows the current status of a pump in motion, and we used Patrade for advice on what it would take to be granted registration in this completely new field of trademark registration,” he says and sums up:
“Patrade gives us predictability, security and peace to work. Patrade acts as a hub, providing assistance when we’re busy and strategic specialist knowledge on all trademark-related issues, no matter how small or how complex.”