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Branding and licensing brands has proven as an incredible way to escalate growth. If you are looking to drive revenue, enter new markets, or re-position your product, brand licensing can lead to dramatic results. As with any new endeavor, however, pitfalls are many. Licensors could impose high fees and many limitations and expectations. On the other hand, licensees short comings could pose serious problems to brand. Lack of deep understanding of the brand mission and position means a licensee would not be able to tune in. Another common problem is the unrealistic performance promises made at the beginning of the relationship.
Facing with these problems a new trend is emerging. Gaming industry is embracing the concept of fictional branding mainly with cars. Designs are often modeled closely after real world car brands. Names are also slight variations of the real world name. This way, users playing the game recognize the brand and pick it accordingly. Since the design is fictional and unlicensed there are no cot, limitation or expectation.
But game developers could open themselves up to litigation if their designs are too realistic, names are too close or characteristics are too similar. So far, there has been little evidence of trademark infringement litigation from car brand owners.
Currently, fictional brands are observed mainly with car brands and only within gaming space. But it is not hard to imagine jewelry, clothing, restaurant, car, hotel, yacht, and entire islands fictional brands soon emerge. The question is whether this trend moves beyond the gaming space?
Pari Esfandiari – WorldNewsVine