Niche beers see trademarks reach record number

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Craft beer boom: the increase in beer trademarks being registered has continued for another year
Craft beer boom: the increase in beer trademarks being registered has continued for another year

Related tags: Beer, Trademark

A record number of trademarks were registered for beer last year, with a jump of 6% more registrations than in 2017.

There were 2,519 drink and brand names registered, up from 2,372 in 2017 according to corporate and insurance law firm RPC.

This means the number of trademarks has almost doubled in the past five years, with an 89% jump from just 1,331 registered in 2013.

The legal company said the uplift had been the result of the continued consumer demand for craft beer as well as the category expansion of low-alcohol beer.

It was a similar story last year with consumer eagerness for limited edition and small-batch beers,​ creating a 20% lift in 2017 up from the year previous.

It highlighted BrewDog as one of the breweries with the most UK trademarks with more than 130, which includes its Zombie Cake and Dead Pony Club brands.

Relentless demand

RPC intellectual property partner Ben Mark said: “Relentless demand for new niche beer products and flavours is driving the number of beer trademark registrations to record highs.

“The industry used to focus on consistency of product, now the focus is on variety.

“Established players have learnt from the success of new entrants to the craft beer market and realised they can’t just offer consumers one product or one brand.”

Many breweries have come to see the addition of an alcohol alternative as essential for their portfolios.

RPC head of food and drink Ciara Cullen added: “It’s clear that everyone from the largest distilleries to the smallest craft breweries, are keen to break into the no-and-low alcohol space.  

“In order to successfully do so, it won’t be enough to have a quality product at the right price point, you will need to develop a brand that really resonates with your target consumer and gives you the edge on the competition.”

Manchester’s Cloudwater Brew was forced to change the branding of its Good Call Soda after brewing giant Heineken took legal action over it infringing one of its trademarks.

Cullen believes legal battles of this kind are only set to increase as more and more products enter the market.

She explained: “Properly protecting and enforcing your intellectual property not only generates value in your brand but helps you achieve longevity in a highly competitive market.”

Related topics: Beer

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