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Trade marks in the UK for spirits rise as demand grows

Written by Alex Baker on 23 August 2018

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Trade mark registrations in the UK increased 41% in 2017, as the market for artisan drinks grows and drinks companies respond through expansion and diversification of their product lines.

Sales of gin, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, totaled £1.5 billion from the 12 months prior to March 2018.

The end result of such trade mark increases is a likely increase in trade mark disputes.

As producers principally seek to establish their own diverse ‘niche’ drink brands within the market, the risk of dispute by competing brands is a near inevitability given their interests in maintaining an established and competitive position within the increasingly profitable market.

This is because, for the purposes of trade mark law, the goods they are selling are often identical/similar enough under s.5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, that being the provision for disputing a trade mark because of its similarity to an ealier registered mark. 

For example, Bacardi’s attempts at a trade mark for ‘Angel’s Envy’ whisky was rejected when spirit manufacturer La Fee objected to its registration given its own brand protected line of products ‘Envy’.

If you are having potential issues with trade mark registration and/or dispute Lawdit Solicitors can assist in this regard, so please call 02380235979 or email info@lawdit.co.uk to receive an initial free 30-minute consultation in order to determine the best solution for your business and intellectual property.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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