Taylor Wessing: Technology, Communications & Brands

By: Taylor Wessing  05/12/2011

Technological developments, and convergence of technology and media platforms, are driving fundamental changes in customer behaviour and expectations. This creates exciting opportunities for businesses that use or supply technology and communications. It also throws up the challenge of finding better ways of engaging with customers. Businesses need to find new means to finance the development of new products and services, whilst protecting their return on investment in this rapidly changing environment.

Developments such as cloud computing, internet enabled mobile devices and the widespread use of social networking present massive opportunities, but also carry significant legal risks for businesses. Data security, privacy, terms of employment, access to capital, IP protection and availability of third party computing platforms for core applications are just some of the issues facing technology and telecoms companies today. Our industry specialists will help you make the most of, and minimise the risk arising from, these developments, whether you are a start-up or a mature business and whether you are on the supply or customer side.

Our specialist experience enables us to give advice that best supports your business model, whether relating to technology procurement, financing through specialist finance providers, product development and exploitation risks, customer acquisition methods, IP protection, brand management, secrecy, data protection, financial services, telecoms, competition or other regulatory risks, or getting the right commercial agreements in place. We also advise extensively on IT outsourcing projects, both for key suppliers and customers. Whilst these trends create new platforms for distributing content, the burning issue for media and entertainment businesses is how to monetise and protect that content successfully. Key issues which have significant legal implications for owners and distributors of content include effective digital rights management, implementing systems for micropayments and pay walls, ensuring content can be viewed on a variety of devices, enabling new advertising models and tackling the implications of technology and media convergence. As the media and entertainment industry continues to develop with the advance of digital, mobile and internet platforms, clients across the entire spectrum of the industry are supported by our media and entertainment team and specialist IT, internet and data protection advisers.

Brands are often the most valuable assets of a business. They can lose their value overnight if not managed carefully. Fundamental changes in technology and media are driving consumer brands to find new ways of engaging with consumers who are increasingly hard to reach. A strong and unified brand message is becoming the only way to break through, whilst finding new methods to captivate and intrigue consumers.

Ensuring that a differentiated and valuable brand is both exploited effectively and protected is key. Owners of existing high-profile brands need to tackle such diverse problems as counterfeit goods and copycat products, how to exploit their brand to maximum effect and how best to embrace social media and connect interactively with consumers. These businesses also need to address such considerations as carbon footprint, environmental protection and fair trade. All this throws up legal implications around areas such as IP protection, privacy, data protection, outsourcing, product liability, reputation management and regulatory compliance. How do you keep on top of all this in today’s fast-changing world?

With a focus on consumer goods, and fashion and luxury brands, our consumer products team advises over 40% of the world’s top 50 brands and their suppliers across the entire supply chain. Our group’s industry expertise enables it to provide practical advice on topical issues such as innovative use of technology and data, food labelling and securing sources of supply, selective distribution and expansion into new markets to enable our clients to grow their businesses and maintain the value of their brands.

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