The food and drink sector is brand-rich and full of intangible assets and ideas protected by trade mark registrations and other IP rights. We have brought together leading analysis and case studies from the experts in trade marks to help businesses in this vital sector of the economy to maximise their value and opportunities from their ideas. We hope you enjoy and benefit from these articles.

Case studies:

Boost Drinks

With annual turnover of around £35m, and exports to over eight countries, Boost Drinks knows success. But in a crowded marketplace, where the value of a business can be completely tied up with the brand, working with a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney can make all the difference.

Ace Cafe

North London’s Ace Cafe is a destination venue. But how do you protect such an iconic café? Especially on a global scale?

Candy Kittens

Candy Kittens is a gourmet sweet range designed to challenge and disrupt the confectionery industry. With the help of a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, the business is now fully protected - and growing fast.

Featured insight:

Hallou-cination?

Is Halloumi too similar to BBQloumi? The EU court doesn’t think so and has allowed BBQloumi to keep its name.

7th Aug 2020 | Blog

What IP is at your summer garden party?

Brands create trust by protecting themselves against competitors.

5th Aug 2020 | Blog

Trade mark strategies of celebrity chefs

We have an insatiable appetite for celebrity chef’s restaurants, recipes and cookware – we take a look at how, from Jamie to Nadiya, they protect and use their brands.

28th Jul 2020 | Blog

Protecting your food and drink brand in a new world

Lockdown has forced the hospitality industry to adapt and change overnight.

23rd Jul 2020 | Blog

Packaging trade marks

What packaging cues and looks can you protect with a trade mark? We show you how these help food and drink makers protect their brands.

21st Jul 2020 | Blog

What features of food and drink can be a trade mark?

Taste and smell are integral to food and drink manufacturers appealing to consumers’ senses – but can they be protected as trade marks?

16th Jul 2020 | Blog

How to energise your drinks brand

How do Red Bull and Monster use their reputations to energise their IP portfolios? We share the lessons that can help businesses in the drinks sector thrive.

14th Jul 2020 | Blog

Non-traditional trade marks – bottle shapes

Distinctive bottle shapes and packaging can be protected as a trade mark, this can be valuable to food and drink manufacturers to help them to stand out, we explore the details.

9th Jul 2020 | Blog

Geographical indications explained

Not just a tasty-sounding combination. Stilton and Cornish pasties cannot be used on just any cheese or pasty product. This is because they’re protected by geographical indications (GIs).

7th Jul 2020 | Blog

Leverage your brand to build a successful business

Your brand has never been a more important part of building a business in the food and drink sector - how to you leverage it to make your business a success?

1st Jul 2020 | Blog

Which food and drink companies got there first?

To what lengths did Bass Brewery go to secure the UK’s first registered trade mark? We take a historical look at the early UK trade mark registrations you’ll still recognise today.

29th Jun 2020 | Blog

15 top IP tips for food and drink brands

Branding is vital to your product standing out – what do you need to know to protect it?

11th Jun 2020 | Blog

Packaging – why a design registration could protect your look

Packaging is part of your visual identity so you need to protect it, particularly in crowded markets like the food and drink sector.

11th Jun 2020 | Blog

Who’s the Boss? Craft brewers vs the big boys

Craft brewers are synonymous with innovative names for beers – but what happens when their brands clash with the registered trade marks of big names?

11th Jun 2020 | Blog

Blending trade marks: a recipe for success?

How is merging words to create brand names like Nayonaise, Tofurky and Ginspire about to take off in the food and drink sector?

10th Jun 2020 | Blog

How valuable are food and beverage trade marks?

Brands are vital to any organisation operating in the food and beverage manufacturing business.

10th Jun 2020 | Blog

Trade marks for craft beer brands

As craft beer goes mainstream, how should brewers go about protecting their brands?

10th Jun 2020 | Blog

Logos and social distancing

How are brands like Coca-Cola using 'fluid' trade marks to promote social distancing?

7th May 2020 | Blog

The winner bakes it all

What do the brands and trade marks belonging to this year’s The Apprentice finalists tell us?

23rd Dec 2019 | Blog

What is a certification trade mark?

What do the ‘Red Tractor’ logo and ‘Parma Ham’ logo have in common? They are a different type of trade mark that tells you a product meets certain standards.

8th Jul 2019 | Blog

Why Campbell’s succeeded where McDonald’s failed

The differing recent fortunes of Campbell’s and McDonald’s trade marks highlight the need for businesses to document use of trade marks, as Chartered Trade Mark Attorney Graeme Murray explains.

19th Feb 2019 | Blog

How McDonald’s lost its Big Mac trade mark

How did Irish burger chain Supermac’s manage to get the Big Mac trade mark cancelled across the EU? The answer lies in the lack of evidence presented by McDonald’s as Daniel Bailey explains.

22nd Jan 2019 | Blog

How do supermarkets get away with ‘lookalike’ own-brands?

Supermarket shelves are full of own-brand products that mimic leading brands. Ever wondered just how they get away with it? 

29th Oct 2018 | Blog

 

Types of intellectual property

Trade marks

A trade mark can be any sign that identifies you as the owner of your goods or services to make it clear they belong to you. 

Many things can be registered as a trade mark -  names and logos are the most common. 

Click here to find out more about trade marks

Designs

A registered design right protects the look of an item, not the functional aspects of its appearance or how it works.

The design could be a two-dimensional image – such as a logo, pattern or icon. Or it can be a three-dimensional physical object.

Click here to find out more about designs 

Patents

Patents protect inventions from being used or sold without the owner’s permission.

A patent gives you a monopoly right to take legal action to stop any competition to your invention for a limited period, normally 20 years.

Click here to find out more about patents

Copyright

Copyright is an automatic intellectual property right that protects original works from being copied without the permission of the creator or licence holder. 

Sound recordings, films, broadcasts and original artistic, musical, dramatic and literary works are all things that can be protected by copyright. 

Click here to find out more about copyright

Trade secrets

A trade secret is can be any confidential business information which provides an organisation with a competitive edge. They are often used when an invention is not eligible for a patent or if the inventor does not wish to disclose the ‘secret’ publicly, which a patent requires you to do. 

Click here to find out more about trade secrets

Geographical indications

A GI designates that a product is of a certain nature, quality and reputation linked to where they are made, or characteristics linked to that place. 

To be a GI a sign or word must indicate a product as coming from a certain location and the reputation for quality that comes from that place. 

Click here to find out more about geographical indications