From pop-up to PLC, micro-brewery to Michelin-star our dedicated team at Briffa deals with all of the intellectual property issues (and the majority of the contractual issues) which a brand in this market is likely to encounter.
Food & drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector contributing over £110bn to the national economy. This is perhaps no surprise as spend on food has risen by 24% in the last 5 years. Competition is rife but brands are constantly finding new ways to whet our appetites and intellectual property is often the driving force. How else can you convince a consumer, who has never tasted your product, to purchase your goods over that of a competitor? It’s the IP that clinches the sale, your enticing brand name, your unique recipe or your beautiful packaging. All of these factors are hugely valuable and are worth protecting.
Take the recipe to Coca Cola, one of the world’s most famous pieces of confidential information. So valuable in fact, that it was once used by the company as collateral for a loan. Without the right non-disclosure agreements in place, this trade secret could be lost and Coca Cola’s competitors would be able to make an identical product.
IP doesn’t just protect the product itself however, food & drink brands can live and die by the quality of their packaging, if this fails the product is ruined (and is potentially harmful) however with the right design, your product can travel from packer to plate without any compromise on taste. It’s vital therefore to protect new designs and enter into robust contracts with your suppliers.
This industry, perhaps more so than others, does clearly face a number of challenges ahead. Perhaps most significant is the issue of Brexit. Europe’s 743 million consumers are within easy reach of the UK, thanks to its geographic location, strong supply and distribution infrastructure however brands need to prepare for the change in the political landscape and the potential impact on their business. Our specialist solicitors can advise on what steps to take in order to protect your IP in the coming years and expand into new territories.
For more information on the above and to arrange a free meeting with one of our solicitors, please call +44 (0)20 7288 6003 or fill out our contact form below.