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Oct 31 2008

Richemont fights the fight

Published by at 9:41 pm under Companies,Top Stories

It’s one thing to own a trademark. Quite another to defend it. In the late 70s I worked in the trademark division of Rupert International in Stellenbosch, where we administered 60,000 trademarks for the Rembrandt Group of companies then still headed by the late, great Anton Rupert.

Anton Rupert was many things, but first of all, he was a marketer and he loved brands. We used to get a number of new names to register as trademarks in a few dozen countries around the globe almost every day after lunch. He would jot suitable names down on a piece of paper, or the back of his cigarette box, while being chauffeured the 6 kilometers from his office in Stellenbosch to his home in Thibaultstraat for lunch and back.

We would scurry around to get the new names registered – and then defend these rights (mostly against backyard lighter, T-shirt and watch manufacturers somewhere in the Far East) for years thereafter. Registering a trade mark in a far-off country is not cheap. But, the bigger costs lie in the protection of your rights.

That’s why I looked twice, when I saw this short and badly written report on a blog today. It’s about a far-away Richemont company continuing the good fight we fought back then in Stellenbosch – against the trademark infringers of the world.

But, it’s about something else: It raises the spectre again of Johann one day going against Koos. For what I mean with that, read this recent article of mine.

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