WIPO Report on Trademarks, Patents, Designs

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published its report about filings of trademarks, patents, and designs.

You can download it here.

For brand proprietors, the ever increasing number of trademarks raises the following questions:

How do we maintain brand recognition / awareness?

How do we keep our brand relevant?

How do we turn brand recognition and relevance into revenue and profit?

David Bowie music catalog value

The David Bowie estate is negotiating the sale of the music catalog. Offers are around US$200M.

Already in the early 2000s David Bowie issued bonds based on his music and the royalty income from licensing. He was the very first artist then. The bond sold for US$30M then.

Recently, the David Bowie estate signed a long term licensing agreement for the so-called masters, the original recording by David Bowie, with Warner Music. This guarantees licensing income for the potential buyers. And it is an excellent basis to calculate the purchase price.

David Bowie is a prime example of successful licensing. And brand management and evaluation.

SBG auction

Pure licensing company Sequential Brands Group (SBG) filed for Chapter 11 in August. During the proceedings it is auctioning off its remaining labels and brands including Jessica Simpson, Avia, AND1 and William Rast.

Earlier this year, SBG sold Caribbean Joe for US$3M and Ellen Tracy for US$17M. Both are licensed successfully. In 2013 SBG paid more than US$80M.

Linnens ‘N’ Things went to Retail Ecommerce Ventures. It converts companies from classic retail, or ‘brick and mortar’, to e-commerce.

Martha Stewart had left SBG earlier and moved to Marquee Brands.

Most recommended brands

The most valuable business comes via recommendation.

Here are the most recommended brands per YouGov:

1  Toyota
2  Netflix
3  Samsung
4  Nike
5  adidas
6  Uniqlo
7  Airbnb
8  Apple
9  Mercedes-Benz
10 Booking.com

June 2020 – May 2021

ABG + Wolverine buying Reebok

Press reports, brand company Authentic Brands Group and shoe producer Wolverine World Wide together will buy Reebok from Adidas.

The purchase price will be up to US$2.5B and paid mostly in cash upon closing in 2022. That is significantly fewer than what Adidas paid for Reebok. Yet it is substantially more, than what was feared.

With ABG comes its large shareholder, Shaquille O’Neal. The ex basketball star can add a lot of cloud, credibility, and PR to Reebok.

The acquisition is a good story for the Authentic Brands Group IPO. And it should make other shareholders like BlackRock and Leonard Green & Partner quite happy.

Zegna + SPAC

The French luxury market has been dominated by two publicly traded Groups, LVMH and Kering for a while. And both acquired Italian brands.

The Italian market stayed more diversified with companies like Armani, Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Kiton, Max Mara, Prada, Tod’s to name a few.

Now Ermenegildo Zegna Group is going public via SPAC. Over years Zegna developed from textile, to menswear, to women’s wear and licensor. It took a license from Maserati, and bought brands like Thom Browne.

The Marzotto Group took a similar path earlier. Originally a textile company too, at one point they owned Hugo Boss, Valentino, and were the licensee of Marlboro Classics.

Behind the SPAC is InvestIndustrial, a private equity company, with former and current interests in Aston Martin Lagonda, Ducati, Morgan Motor Company, B&B Italia, Jacuzzi.

Brand licenses and fragrances

The fragrance industry was early in brand licenses.

Coco Chanel and her perfume are a textbook case. Christian Dior Parfums and cosmetics were at the starting point of Bernard Arnault’s LVMH.

Even today the new Coty CEO mentions licensed brands Gucci, Burberry, Hugo Boss and Adidas first. Her newest stars are Kylie (Jenner) Cosmetics and Kim Kardashian’s KKW.