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17 October 2016Trademarks

Beer trademarks hit record high in 2015

The number of new beer trademarks registered in the UK has hit a record high following a 12% annual rise, according to law firm RPC.

In 2015, 1,666 beer trademarks were registered, an increase from the 1,485 marks registered in 2014.

According to the law firm, the record number is probably being driven in part “by the proliferation of new own brand ‘artisan’ style beers being launched by mega-breweries as they seek a large share of the ‘craft beer’ market”.

RPC added that supermarkets are also investing heavily in the sector by launching or expanding their own craft beer brands and sub brands.

Ben Mark, legal director, trademarks at RPC, explained: “Supermarkets see the craft beer industry as one of the key categories where margins are less subject to discounting pressure. As a result, they have invested heavily in the industry in recent years.”

Mega-breweries are also gaining greater market share of the artisan sector by acquiring brands as well as launching their own, the report said.

Over the past five years, total trademark registrations relating to beer have increased 43% with 2015 being the fourth consecutive year that registrations have increased.

Jeremy Drew, head of retail at RPC, said: “As the number of craft beer products rises, the possibility for a conflict of similar names may become greater, especially in an industry so fast growing.

“As a result, there could be a rise in disputes between brewers and beer retailers over intellectual property rights of their craft beers.”

Last week, WIPR reported that the co-founders of Scottish brewery BrewDog changed their name to Elvis after allegedly receiving a legal threat from the estate of Elvis Presley.

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11 October 2016   The co-founders of Scottish brewery BrewDog have changed their name to Elvis after allegedly receiving a legal threat from the estate of Elvis Presley.