22 October 2018Trademarks

UK beer trademarks rise to record high: report

The number of new trademarks registered for beer in the UK increased by 20% last year to reach a record high of 2,372 (up from 1,983 in 2016), according to a report released today by professional services firm RPC.

In addition to the year-on-year increase, RPC said that the number of trademarks registered for beer more than doubled between 2010 (1,072) and 2017.

RPC suggested that the “craft beer boom” is responsible for the increase.

The firm said: “Consumer demand for ‘limited edition’ and ‘small batch’ beers means that breweries are launching far more products lines with their own trademarks. This is a radical change from the pre-craft beer model which saw brewers consolidate their products lines and promote just a few ‘global brands’.”

RPC noted that Scottish craft beer company BrewDog now lists 20 different beers on its website, whereas multinational brewing company Heineken only advertises two beers in the UK under its brand.

Supermarkets are reportedly encouraging the craft beer trend by featuring more beer companies on their shelves, as well as selling own-brand craft beer products.

RPC said: “Department retailer Marks & Spencer now stocks craft beer from UK microbrewers which it labels as its own products, such as Battersea Rye and British Clipper IPA.”

Meanwhile, supermarket chain Asda last year committed to add 100 craft beers to its range, RPC noted.

Ben Mark, legal director at RPC, said: “The craft beer market has grown to a scale where some of the IP behind the brands is extremely valuable. Protecting the value of those brands is becoming increasingly important.”

Earlier this year, RPC revealed that UK trademarks for spirits have risen by 84% over the past five years—in 2017, 2,210 trademarks were registered for those categories, compared to just 1,199 in 2013 and 1,570 in 2016.

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More on this story

31 July 2018   The number of trademarks registered for spirits and liqueurs in the UK has increased by 84% over the last five years, according to figures released yesterday by professional services firm RPC.
22 October 2019   The number of trademarks registered for spirits soared 58% over the past two years in the UK, driven by a boom in ‘craft’ spirits, according to professional services firm RPC.
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