Service Differentiation through Trademarks

Name:DataStream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST)
Country / Territory:Brunei Darussalam
IP right(s):Trademarks
Date of publication:March 25, 2010
Last update:July 9, 2012


DST Sdn Bhd's logo (WIPO Pub
WIPO-ASEAN
/IP/BKK/06/DRAFT)

Background

DataStream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST) was formed in 1995 as a response to the government of Brunei Darussalam’s call for the privatization of communication services. Since its inception, the company has grown substantially and has diversified into nine core businesses. Called the DST Group, it is currently comprised of 1)DST – the main holding company; 2) DST Communication Sdn Bhd (DSTCom); 3) Integrated Communication Sdn Bhd (Incomm); 4) DST Technical Services Sdn Bhd (FasCom); 5) Kristal –Astro Sdn Bhd; 6) Kristal Media Sdn Bhd; 7) DST Multimedia Sdn Bhd (Simpur); 8) DST Payphone Sdn Bhd (Zippi) and 9) DataStream Solutions Sdn Bhd.


"FasCom" and "Zippi" are better recognized by consumers than the names of the companies: DST Technical Services Sdn Bhd and DST Payphone Sdn Bhd (WIPO Publication WIPO-ASEAN/IP/BKK/06/DRAFT)

Trademarks and Branding

Initially, the three letters “DST”, derived from DataStream Technology, formed the main focal point and were central to the development of the group’s trademarks.

Awareness of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the group evolved with further branding exercises when DSTCom introduced two trademarks: “Prima” for post-paid mobile phone services and “Easi” for prepaid services. The DST Group used this opportunity to take on an extension of branding and value-added services for their customers. These new initiatives gave customers the choice to select the services which most met their needs, and led to an increase in the group’s business activities.

With the expansion of business, there was again the need to create more trademarks. The DST Group created three other trademarks and brand names – “FasCom”, “Simpur” and “Zippi” – which were more easily recognized by consumers than the names of the companies: DST Technical Services Sdn Bhd (a service provider of nationwide two-way trunk radios), DST Multimedia Sdn Bhd (an internet service provider) and DST Payphone Sdn Bhd (an operator of prepaid phone cards and fixed phone booths), respectively. In this instance each company capitalized on these trademarks and have been trading their services and products under these brand names to gain market leverage and customer recognition.

IP Management

When the DST Group applied to register one of its trademarks, it received an objection from the owner of a similar mark on the grounds that it was visually and conceptually identical and/or deceptively and/or otherwise confusingly similar. Subsequently the other party withdrew its opposition and that particular mark was eventually registered on behalf of the DST Group.

From this case, the DST Group learnt the importance of trademark protection and that owners of a mark should go to great lengths to protect their IPRs. This experience reinforced the company’s concept of the protection of IP as part of its business strategy. Through trademark registration, the group secures its rights in marketing its brand and also develops more IPRs.

The marketing division of the DST Group houses a marketing and creativity value unit which constantly creates and develops brand names to meet the needs of the DST Group.

Licensing

There are now over 1,000 licensed vendors for the brand name “Easi”; 250 licensed vendors for the brand name “Simpur” and 350 licensed vendors for the brand name “Zippi”.

Business Results

The DST Group has become one of the country’s most successful private enterprises, with market dominance as a network operator, a service and entertainment provider for communications. The company’s head office building in the capital of Negara Brunei Darussalam has become a landmark and it is identified by the public as the “DST” tower. The design of the building reflects the image of the group as dynamic and innovative as the products and services it offers.

Differentiation of Multiple Services By Eye-catching Trademarks

The important success factor of the DST Group is a constant creation of “easy-to-remember” trademarks and brand names to differentiate its multiple communication services among the group, while the group commits itself to providing quality services for all its customers.