As consumer appetite grows for craft beers, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has seen an increase of 12% in the number of beer-related trade marks registered in 2014 compared to 2013. There is expected to be an even bigger increase this year.
A Sign that Business is Good for Breweries?
A rise in trade mark applications is usually a sign that business in that sector is doing well, with plenty of room for new products and brands and a clear market need to fulfil. Certainly, research shows that the number of breweries in the UK has trebled since 2010.
Inevitably, however, it also leads to potential trade mark disputes – either between smaller producers competing in the same space, or between a smaller producer and a bigger, established brand. These disputes can be costly, particularly for small businesses who often don’t have the funds to fight a trade mark case.
Protecting Beer Brand Names
One of the drivers for growth in this market is the advent of supermarket own-brand craft beers. Alongside this, established breweries are increasing their beer ranges and new entrants to the market are looking for a point of difference. The right name and branding for the beer will make it stand out. It is becoming even more important that companies do their research before investing in potentially expensive branding and packaging that may, otherwise, end up being the subject of a trade mark dispute.
Trade Mark Advice from SH&P
At Stevens Hewlett & Perkins, we can help you whether you are a first-time applicant or already hold a significant trade mark portfolio. Our experienced trade mark attorneys take the time to understand your business, your market and your plans for the future. This allows us to give you relevant, professional advice that will benefit you and your business in the long term.
Your first hour with us is completely free of charge; so if you are looking for some objective advice about trade mark issues, why not book an appointment with us today?