"Make it last forever": these words form part of the lyrics of Wannabe, a song made popular in the dying years of the previous century by the Spice Girls girl band. They could well be the family motto of
husband and wife wife and husband team Victoria and David Beckham, whose use of intellectual property rights both as a hedge to protect their image and as a springboard to project it into hitherto uncharted areas has not gone unnoticed. Here with a brief but fascinating insight into Victoria Beckham's IP activities is a guest post from our good friend Rebecca Gulbul, who writes:
"The name Victoria Beckham might once have been associated only with her husband or with her ex-popstar status, as “Posh Spice” in the Spice Girls. Today however her name resounds with her own brand and products. She has established herself as a designer in the fashion world and her creations have been sold in major UK department stores and on high-end shopping websites and her creations have regularly been spotted on celebrities. In 2011, she won the Designer Brand of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards and, in September last year, she opened her flagship store in Mayfair. A big part of her success is due to how well she has managed her intellectual property.
Victoria Beckham’s creations include a main clothing range, a younger collection (Victoria, Victoria Beckham) and a wide offering of accessories. She has also brought out her own perfume. Even before creating her own business, she leveraged both her name and the brands of others by means of celebrity endorsement, lending her image to brands such as Rocawear and, following her husband, to Emporio Armani.A successful brand is highly dependent on good intellectual property protection. In this context Victoria Beckham owns a number of UK and Community trade marks (three name marks are here, and there are logo marks too). Her creations undoubtedly benefit from design rights, as well as copyright in her designs. Having built upon the fame acquired during her popstar days and her husband David’s fame, she has not only turned the pair into intellectual assets but has capitalised on this.Victoria has always been highly conscious of the need to protect her image. When thus when the Peterborough United Football Club Limited tried to register “POSH” as a trade mark, she was quick to oppose it, although ultimately she did not pursue the opposition and the trade mark was granted.Apart from her eponymous brands, Victoria Beckham has other IP resources. She receives royalties from her Spice Girls singing days. In 1997, she also appeared in the film Spice World. Quite apart from her Spice Girls albums, in 2001, she also released her own album called Victoria Beckham and has also authored two books: Learning to Fly (2001) and That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between (2007), both of which have benefited from their association with her image.The Beckham brand only appears to be growing and the family business looks set to pass on to the next generation, with daughter Harper Beckham regularly appearing in fashion magazines [here she is in Elle and Glamour], and son Romeo Beckham having modelled for Burberry."