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TENCEL™ insights
08 / 06 / 2023
Foster innovation and growth in the textile value chain with effective brand enforcement initiatives
TENCEL™ insights
08 / 06 / 2023
Foster innovation and growth in the textile value chain with effective brand enforcement initiatives

As e-commerce continues to revolutionize the global marketplace, effective brand protection is crucial for preserving the integrity of the textile and fashion value chain, safeguarding consumers from counterfeits, and fostering trust among apparel and home textile brands. Robust brand protection measures, including initiatives that address trademark infringement, not only drive industry innovation but also promote a trustworthy business environment within the value chain in an ever-changing business landscape.

We spoke with Harold Weghorst, Global Vice President of Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG, on how brand enforcement activities could benefit textile value chain partners, brands and consumers to empower innovation and growth.

Q1: What value do brand enforcement initiatives bring to the textile industry and consumers?

Harold: In order to safeguard the value chain and our customers against counterfeit products, Lenzing follows the guiding principles of respect and protection of all intellectual property, including registered trademarks. In the ever-evolving business landscape, innovation is crucial to the continuing success of the textile industry and ensuring a healthy business environment. With this in mind, innovative brand enforcement initiatives provide enhanced intellectual property rights protection and encourage the correct use of brand assets or trademarks.

Q2: What type of brand enforcement activities have Lenzing conducted over the past few years? Could you provide some successful examples?

Harold: We strongly believe that innovation is the lifeline for the ongoing growth and development of the fashion and home textile value chain. We have always championed the protection of intellectual property rights in terms of brand assets or trademarks, not only for TENCEL™ branded fibers but for our entire value chain. For years, we have been taking proactive steps to enforce our TENCEL™ trademark to protect the rights of our partners, and even more importantly, to safeguard consumers against trademark infringement.

From online marketplaces to key textile industry events, we have worked alongside e-commerce platforms and tradeshow organizers to monitor and remove the use of fake TENCEL™ brand trademarks globally. We have also worked closely with relevant government authorities to conduct raids. For instance, in China, our close collaboration with the Chinese authorities has led to a series of offline investigations and administrative raids across various key provinces. In one of the cases in Nantong, China, a considerable quantity of counterfeit TENCEL™ swing tickets and tags were seized, and the offenders were penalized, protecting brands and consumers from counterfeit products.

Q3: What are some key learnings from Lenzing’s brand enforcement initiatives in China and other parts of the world?

Harold: Collaboration is key. Internally, we have established a multi-departmental brand protection taskforce that engages proactively with external parties such as government authorities, industry associations, and trade show organizers on an ongoing basis. Such concerted efforts are focused on one common goal: creating a safe business environment that protects innovation within the textile industry and protects our trademarks from infringement. In today’s digital landscape, it is also imperative to invest in advanced technologies and dedicated teams to proactively identify online trademark infringements and take swift action against them.

Q4: What particular brand enforcement activities can we expect from Lenzing in 2023 and beyond?

Harold: Looking ahead, we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of brand protection through concerted efforts with our value chain partners, government authorities, industry associations, and trade show organizers. As mentioned earlier, making good use of online and offline technological resources can enhance monitoring capabilities and expedite the identification and removal of counterfeit listings.

Building awareness is also vital, as it encourages the correct usage of brand assets and trademarks. We will expand our educational initiatives to raise awareness and drive adoption among consumers and industry stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of trademark protection. By fostering a collective understanding of the brand asset and trademark usage, we can foster a positive business environment that promotes innovation and transparency within the textile value chain and beyond.

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