Theory and History
Chapter 4: Imitation, brand protection and the globalization of British business
This chapter focuses on the protection and counter-imitation strategies British multinationals used to defend the reputation of their brands globally in the period 1870–1929, and shows how crucial these strategies were in their survival and success. Despite new trademark legislation in the 1880s, enforcement of trademarks remained expensive, and many firms preferred negotiation to prosecution. Many imitators were based in the newly industrializing countries of the time – the United States, Germany and Japan. Imitators were often part of British export supply chains, as licensees, franchisees or wholesalers. British firms responded by lobbying governments, appointing local agents to provide intelligence, and collaborating with other firms.
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