Written by Margaret Briffa | October 7, 2016

Trade Marks

The popularity of cocktails and cocktail bars shows no sign of abating with cocktails being sold more and more in many bars and pubs alongside the more standard drinks. Here’s a picture of the London Cocktail Club window on Essex Road which I took on my way home from work which I just think is so fantastically inviting. They open early evening too!!

While many offerings have names and you know what to expect some cocktails and particularly those mixed in speciality bars and clubs are new and original mixtures. It’s always been the job of intellectual property law to protect the effort you put into to creating things – the idea is to stop someone taking a short cut and riding on your coats tails. The idea is that if you invest time and energy in creating something you get to reap the benefit. Cocktail recipes like food recipes are difficult to protect. Regulation of the industry means you have to at least tell drinkers what is in the glass even if you don’t give away how to make it. So how can these ingenious cocktail mixologists make sure that they at least get recognition for their creations even if they can’t stop others from making the same cocktails?

Protecting brand and IP in food and drink industry

The answer may lie in trademarking the name of a cocktail so you while you can’t prevent someone making the same drink with the same ingredients you can prevent others from calling their drinks by the same name. This may be useful if you are scaling up and want a distinctive label for your products. For the time being from the many hundreds of cocktail names that are out there only a handful have been trademarks and they include Dark ‘N Sunny owned by Gosling, the Painkiller owned by Pusser’s Rum and Sazerac owned by the Sazerac Company.  We have yet to see whether trademarking cocktail names will catch on as these are continue to grow and whether the use of trademarks will remain the preserve of the drinks companies rather that the clubs who set the trend for a new drink.

For more information on how to product your brand names for food or drink call us on (44) 020 7096 2779 or visit us at the Business Design Centre 52 Upper Street

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