When a company loses a lawsuit, it often takes on a brand image
- by admin
NFL owners have long been known for their high-tech prowess.
But there’s a new way to make a statement on the court: They may have lost a lawsuit.
It’s not just that a player or a coach might not be pleased with the outcome of a legal matter, it’s that companies themselves can be liable for things that happen when they fail to take a legal position on issues.
It’s not as if a company is trying to protect its brand, or protect itself from the lawsuit that could destroy the company.
It all started with an incident in 2012 when the NFL began a new era of corporate accountability.
As the world watched the lockout, the league issued a report saying it would create an independent panel of experts to review the conduct of players, coaches and executives.
In the weeks that followed, more than 200 organizations, including the NFLPA, began to publicly express concerns about the way the league handled the situation.
In a move that would eventually be labeled a landmark Supreme Court decision, the NFL changed the way it handled the lockout by changing its public stance and removing the panel.
But it wasn’t just the NFL that changed.
Companies started to take the same approach to issues in a new, more open way.
Companies started to focus on making it easier to have an opinion on an issue, rather than having to defend a position.
This could mean a new stance on a contentious issue like climate change.
It could mean changing the way companies conduct business.
Or it could mean making it so the public has a way to voice their views and make a case for their views.
The league has a responsibility to take that position, said Chris Horner, who runs the business ethics practice at the New York law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
“You don’t have to worry about losing a lawsuit because you don’t think you’re right, because the commissioner believes in your position,” Horner said.
“But that’s not the whole answer,” he added.
“If the commissioner can’t defend his position, then there’s no accountability.”
The most important thing companies can do to address a legal issue is not to become a liability, said Mark A. Cohen, the former CEO of Comcast, who now heads the law firm Morgan Lewis.
Cohen was the chief executive of Comcast before joining Morgan Lewis in 2015.
Cohen’s company was sued by the NFL over its decision to allow players to kneel during the national anthem in response to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police.
Cohen said he believed the NFL had the right to protect the players’ right to free speech and freedom of expression.
But he said that if companies are unwilling to take action that helps make the country a better place, they should stop taking a position on controversial issues.
“We don’t care what the commissioner thinks.
We care what’s best for the NFL.
But we don’t want to be in the position of having a brand liability,” Cohen said.
“We want to stay out of the position, because that’s the way we’re going to make money.”
Companies and organizations could change the way they handle the legal process, but there is no single rule to follow.
“What happens is people try to figure out how to make the most money,” Horberg said.
In other words, they make decisions based on what is perceived as the most profitable option, and then they take the easiest option.
“If a company wants to hire me, they’re going through a process.
It doesn’t mean they have to hire someone, and that’s why you have to have the right lawyer, because it doesn’t matter if you have a lawyer or not,” he said.
The key is to understand the difference between a liability and a trademark, said Peter Fenton, a trademark lawyer who worked on the NFL and now serves as a consultant for the league.
A trademark is not owned by the company that owns the mark.
The NFL has to be able to protect it, and they need to have a license from the owner of the mark to do that.
“What they’re really saying is, if we don, in fact, protect it by protecting the trademark, then that’s OK,” Fenton said.
But a trademark does not protect the idea that the company has something to protect.
“The NFL has trademark rights.
If the NFL doesn’t have a trademark license, it has no right to use the name ‘The NFL,’ ” he said, referring to the NFL’s logo.
“It’s a branding problem, and it’s not a trademark problem.”
Companies often do not realize how easy it is to be a liability in this new era, said Andrew M. Barreto, a former chief financial officer of Comcast and now the chief investment officer at TPG Capital.
“They’re not paying attention to what the law is,” he recalled.
“There are things they can do that they’re not supposed to do.”
It may be easier to go with a brand name,
NFL owners have long been known for their high-tech prowess.But there’s a new way to make a statement on the…
- How to make your favorite apps disappear from the web and into the cloud, for free!
- ‘Dying Light’ is a great PS4 game
- Tata announces that it will open its own shipping company, a move that could boost shipping industry
- The ANACONDA software company has been named in a US federal fraud case
- IBM is buying a huge swath of software companies that it will use for its cloud infrastructure project