How a 120-year-old luxury luggage brand leverages trademark strategies for success.

Apr 29, 2018 | Trademark Blog

Rimowa – their luggage are wheeled around airports all over the world. Even though they have been around since 1898, in 2018 they took their market and competitors by surprise by rolling out a new logo and brand identity just in time to celebrate their 120th anniversary.For more information about the change, check out Brand New 

But how did Rimowa manage to prepare such a big overhaul in secret while still have their new trademark fully protected in every market?

The earlier you file a trademark registration the faster you can get the acceptance, but in most cases, when you file the application, the local government will public your application. This means that there is a risk your business plan will be exposed and let your competitors know your next move.

A good trademark strategy can save you from that dilemma. Let’s see how RIMOWA did it.
First, you find a safe harbor to hide your trademark application, it should be a country that no one will think about watching its trademark filing database or doesn’t have a public trademark database but the application in that country can still allow you to claim the priority right in other countries.

For Rimowa, that country was the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, a twin-island sovereign state that is the southernmost nation in the Caribbean with a total population of 1.2 million.

The first trademark application was filed on 2017/11/09 in Trinidad and Tobago. Still, they have to file an application independently in order to be protected in each country. And this is where the priority claim becomes handy.

These are the original application dates for each place:

Taiwan: 2017/12/07
European Union: 2017/12/07
China: 2017/12/08
United States: 2017/12/08

However, since all these jurisdictions accept the Claiming Priority from a trademark filed in Trinidad and Tobago, the applications would actually be considered to having been filed on the same date as in Trinidad and Tobago.

So the application date now becomes:
Taiwan: 2017/11/09
European Union: 2017/11/09
China: 2017/11/09
United States: 2017/11/09

Although Claiming Priority has its time limit, you for example only have 6 months to enforce such right; but still, it is a very advantageous rule when you want to protect your trademark and business plan at the same time.

Looking at how RIMOWA set up their trademark strategy, you will find that one hidden power of successful companies is that they focus on trademark protection and never leave it out of their business plan. With a proper plan, you can build up the power of your trademarks, protect your position in the market rather than being trapped in the mud with squatters and hitchhikers.

Do you want to talk to us about trademarks? Ask some questions?