The IP Dilemma of The Jewelry Industry & How It Hurts Value?
Jan 01, 2023
The jewelry industry generates billions of dollars in revenue every year and attracts a lot of investors looking to have a slice of this revenue. Due to the fierce competition, jewelers go to every length in innovation and design to stay ahead.
Unfortunately, efforts to stay ahead of the competition in the ever-changing industry and the age of mass production are often met with a threat of counterfeiting, creating a dilemma for the Jewelry industry.
Jewelers can counter this problem by registering their intellectual property, but the fast-changing nature of the industry makes catching up with IP registration a big challenge. This guide looks at this dilemma and how it hurts value in the jewelry industry.
Designers in the jewelry industry want to be sure that the effort they put into creating their designs will be worth it. Without assurances of the protection of the effort, designers and jewelers will be reluctant to innovate and develop new designs.
After all, all their hard work could end up in the hands of counterfeiters and competitors who may offer similar products at a lower price because they may not need to factor in the cost involved in creating the product.
Erosion of Brand Value
The value of a jewelry brand lies in its ability to create unique products. With time the unique products created by a brand become synonymous with the brand, and the brand becomes what people see when they see the product.
When a brand is the only source of a unique product, it can control the prices by controlling supply and demand. But with every other entity creating similar products and flooding the market, the consumer may not find the need to go for the authentic product, especially if it comes at a higher price tag.
Eventually, having the market flooded with counterfeit products dilutes the value of the authentic product. It interferes with the supply-demand equilibrium, ultimately reducing market prices.
Decreased Consumer Confidence
You probably have played your part in ensuring that your designs in jewelry stand out. However, consumer confidence decreases significantly when the industry faces a counterfeiting problem, impacting even the most authentic products.
Buyers become wary of putting their money on high-value jewelry because of quality and authenticity concerns. This lack of confidence means less overall jewelry sales and decreased industry growth.
Overcoming the IP Dilemma
It would take a combined effort of players in the industry to overcome the IP dilemma facing the jewelry industry. But there are steps you can take on a personal level to overcome some of these challenges.
The most effective approach is to register your intellectual property rights. Countries have different agencies for IP rights registration. If you are or want to secure your rights in the US, you must register your IPs through the US Patents and Trademarks Office.
If you are Canadian or want to register your IPs in Canada, you have to go through the Canadian Intellectual Properties Office, which offers three options for registration; in-person, mail, and online registration through their website's portal.
You may not have to register all your IP rights. Focus on industrial design and trademark rights, which are critical in protecting your jewelry business.
Industrial Design Rights
Industrial design rights are part of IP rights and fall under the patent category. There are two main forms of patent rights; utility and design patents. Under Canadian law, design patent rights are called industrial design rights.
Unlike utility patent rights which cover the functional aspect of a product, industrial design rights cover the non-functional aspects of products. In a jewelry industry setting, industrial design rights focus on the shape, color, ornamentation texture, and other visual and aesthetic aspects of a piece of jewelry.
Typically the core concept of Industrial design rights is to protect a jewelry design from replication by an authorized entity. It also gives the designer the legal right to stop others from profiting off the designs and suing them for compensation if the infringement leads to two losses.
Trademark rights protect brand names, symbols, graphics, and slogans used in marketing your jewelry. Simply put, they protect your brand identifiers, which are important in helping your consumers pick up your products from their competition.
Trademark rights registration gives you exclusive rights to your brand identifiers and legal power to stop others from profiting from them. With proper enforcement, trademark rights can be instrumental in creating a strong brand reputation and having the customers associate your brand with quality, which is a huge plus in an industry facing countless challenges.
Every industry has its unique challenges. But the jewelry industry comes with the unique challenge of being a high-value and fast-changing industry. As a result, keeping up IP rights registration can sometimes become a challenge.
While personal efforts may not be enough to solve all industry challenges, playing your part can make a big difference for your business.