Consumers demand more from their brands and increasingly base their purchasing decisions on the sustainability of products and companies. In response to this, industry group Baker McKenzie Consumer Goods & Retail has produced the “CG&R and Sustainability Video Chat Series” in which experts provide brief practical insights into some of the legal considerations businesses should bear in mind when they undertake green innovation. .
In the first episode of the series, Eva Maria Strobelpartner in Zurich, and Renata Amaralpartner at Trench Rossi Watanabe in Sao Paulo, discuss the role intellectual property can play in helping brands on their sustainability journey.
Consumers are increasingly basing their purchasing decisions and brand loyalty on the sustainability of products and companies, requiring consumer-facing companies to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. in their operations and strategies and to increase transparency around these practices.
For a company to achieve its sustainability goals, a multitude of factors must come into play, including behavior change, challenging or even disrupting existing practices and supply chains, and technological innovation.
Intellectual property (IP) rights can support green innovation by providing a competitive advantage. All patented inventions or innovations protected by trade secrets are assets that can be commercialized to generate revenue while contributing to global sustainability goals by allowing others to benefit from the innovation.
Green innovation gives rise to a number of intellectual property challenges, such as:
- Find a brand that is both distinctive and relays the green message in a way that cannot be considered greenwashing.
- Ensure that all advertising and marketing communications comply with consumer protection legislation and do not mislead the public.
- Carefully negotiate contracts with third-party data and analytics software providers to ensure that the data, which is used to support the company’s green claims, is trusted or guaranteed by the third-party provider.
- Carefully consider all intellectual property rights arising from multiple parties collaborating on green innovation, such as the licensing of existing intellectual property rights, ownership of new intellectual property developed during the collaboration, and the rights of parties to use the results of the collaboration.
- Understand the intellectual property rights that protect the various components of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, which are used to increase the speed and accuracy of data analytics and implement new connected technologies, to encourage development and the use of AI and machine learning.
For more practical legal information on key issues affecting consumer goods and retail companies in integrating ESG practices into their operations and strategies, log on to Baker McKenzie Off the Shelf Video Chat Series.