KF is more than just Coop
KF, The Swedish Cooperative Union, was founded in 1899. KF consists of 40 consumer-owned companies and associations that together collect about 3.5 million consumers. KF includes, in addition to Coop, also KF Fastigheter, MedMera Bank, Vi Media and Vår Gård Saltsjöbaden.
A board decision would be transformed into a strategy
KF made a board decision with the purpose of streamlining trademark management that would result in a control model for the trademark portfolio. The ambition was to clarify the role of the association’s various trademarks and to focus its work on a fewer number of prioritized trademarks. Among the first steps was to invite intellectual property law advisers to a procurement regarding trademarks and domain names, which we at Groth & Co won in fierce competition.
With the procurement completed, KF formed a trademark strategic council under the leadership of Pia Carlsson Thörnqvist, Head of Trademark and Organization. The council included key people from KF’s organization representing both legal and market expertise and various roles within Coop Sverige AB. Representatives from us at Groth & Co participate in council meetings to contribute with external expertise.
We created policy documents and implemented portfolio optimization
Our work began with a process of portfolio optimization that resulted in recommendations on which trademarks and domain names that were to be closed, as well as which supplementary applications should be submitted. In addition, we provided advice on which domain names that could be sold. The trademark council’s initial task was to anchor and determine these efficiency decisions based on our recommendations and existing board decision.
In parallel with the optimization work, we also wrote a comprehensive internal document for KF, containing process description and routines for trademark and domain name management. After the initial process map, the document contains routines for registration of trademarks and domain names, renewals, watching, actions in case of infringement, annual evaluations, and current distribution of roles and ownership issues.
The outcome: Implemented strategy, cost savings and improved protection
The entire project from start-up to the delivery of the process document and all decisions in the trademark council were taken took three months. Then KF had an internal policy document with the purpose of simplifying the work internally and ensuring that KF’s portfolio remains optimized in the future. The document was implemented in the organization through the members of the trademark council and other key functions. KF had also reduced its previous too large trademark portfolio by over 50% and its domain name portfolio by approximately a third. Thus, KF had also created future cost savings that exceeded one million SEK. In addition, we have submitted supplementary trademark applications and domain name registrations, which meant that KF received better legal protection for its prioritized trademarks.
In the future, we will continue assisting KF and the trademark strategic council with advice on trademark and domain names. Our work covers everything from applications and registrations, to watching, renewals, proceedings and warning letters.
The project has given us a good platform to ensure that we have a trademark portfolio with the right protection and at a reduced cost. This work, which started our collaboration with Groth & Co, was carried out with a timetable that made the work concentrated and efficient – both in terms of cost and work effort.
/ Pia Carlsson Thörnqvist, Head of Trademark and Organization, KF