Brands

In 2017, UK consumers spent £406 billion on retail purchases. Yet, the retail sector remains volatile, with consumers facing rising costs in all aspects of their lives. At the same time, consumers are increasingly demanding. The way they choose and purchase goods and services is constantly evolving. They want quality products and a personalised service, as well as speed and convenience. You need to make sure your business doesn’t fall behind. To keep up, brands need to be prominent, efficient, flexible, responsive and able to grow and maintain consumer loyalty through extraordinary brand experience. Thanks to social media, your brand can spring from being relatively unknown to instantly recognisable overnight. From one-touch purchasing to faster and spontaneous pay technology such as contactless, brands need to make sure they have adapted and that their names, logos, inventions and designs are protected.

Our expertise

Click on the sectors below to find out more.

Consumer and home

FMCG brands must seek to provide richer, seamless retail experiences in a competitive market, to which UK households only allocate 7% of total spend. Brand loyalty starts with recognisable, creative content. Names, logos, sub-brands and domains need protection before they are tweeted about. New technologies should be patented and product designs registered before being disclosed. Products are often licensed to or distributed by third parties, so to keep control, you need to register your IP.

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Culture and tourism

With Brexit and a weaker pound, the UK tourism industry has seen a huge increase in ‘staycations’, with a 5% year-on-year increase since the referendum. Similarly, the number of EU students choosing to study in the UK has grown by 3%. This presents fantastic opportunities for you to connect with the public, show what the UK has to offer and exploit your brands. Having IP protection in place before you advertise is therefore essential for maximising brand recognition, bolstering reputation and growing your business.

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Fashion and lifestyle

Fashion is all about keeping pace with rapidly-changing styles. The need to design, manufacture and distribute products that are on-trend (as well as ethically made and environmentally friendly) can create challenges for designers, suppliers and retailers. Today, anything can be tweeted in the blink of an eye, so registering trade marks is vital to protect goodwill and brand value. And if your brand or product is copied, then litigation is far easier when you have registered rights to rely on.

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Financial services

The UK is a renowned financial hub. New products, technologies and services are constantly being developed to improve security, methods of transaction and customer service. At the heart of this sector is the growth of Fintech and the IP that underpins it. Exploiting this time of change by building confidence and providing a personalised service is crucial. Your brand name, products and domain names need to be protected if they are your distinctive assets and main contact with consumers.

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Food and drink

In the UK food and drink industry today, consumers demand choice. They make informed decisions and want good value, local sourcing and ethical production. The competitive nature of the industry means that IP protection is vital. Just consider the Nestlé-Cadbury and Budweiser-Budvar trade mark wars. In the digital age, where food is not only eaten but tweeted and shared on Instagram, it’s essential to think about protecting names, logos, sub-brands, packaging and domain names a soon as possible.

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Retail

To thrive in today’s hyper-competitive, digital age, retailers with a physical presence need to make their stores relevant and the customer experience enjoyable. Demanding consumers means that the digital space is just as important, with online sales now accounting for nearly a fifth of all retail sales. It has never been easier to shop and retailers need to exploit this opportunity, embrace omnichannel and get their brands noticed.

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Sport and leisure

With increased grass roots funding, greater interest in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle and sporting successes such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and Wimbledon, there is a greater interest in sports in the UK than ever before.

In the work and digital-orientated world we find ourselves in, and with 26.9% of the UK population being ‘obese’, we’re passionate about helping sports brands succeed to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.

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Case Studies

Case Study

END.

Putting an END to domain name infringement

We found a smart, low-cost, alternative way to deal with trade mark infringement for a world-famous clothing retailer.

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Case Study

Mr Bingo

A full house for Mr Bingo

We found a creative, alternative way to resolve a copyright infringement dispute using the power of Instagram.

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Case Study

Regent’s University London

Protecting a brand against an aggressive claimant

An aggressive approach to legal action doesn’t always work out well, as one University discovered by having its trade mark rights revoked.

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Related reads

Patents

08-07-2019

Undisclosed disclaimers — a bittersweet lesson from the EPO?

A recent decision highlights the pitfalls of using undisclosed disclaimers in patent claims.

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Patents

23-05-2019

Nutricosmetics — you are what you eat

Nutricosmetics contain powerful benefits, but patenting them can be tricky... Here are our top tips.

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Trade marks

21-05-2019

Guns N’ Rosé — welcome to the IP jungle

A new rock and roll-themed alcoholic drink hasn't gone down well with Guns N' Roses' lawyers...

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Meet our team

Akber Ahmed

Trade Mark Assistant - Leeds

Alan Fiddes

Managing Partner - Leeds

Dr Alan Jones

Partner - Cardiff

Alison Cole

Senior Trade Mark Attorney - London

Alison Simpson

Managing Partner - London | Milton Keynes

Anna Szpek

Senior Trade Mark Attorney - London

Annabel Hanratty

Trade Mark Attorney - Cardiff

Dr Christine Lund-Beck

Senior Trade Mark Attorney - Milton Keynes

Christopher Banister

Trade Mark Attorney - London

Gareth Price

Partner - Leeds

Dr Garry Stuttard

Partner - Leeds

Ian Byworth

Partner - Newcastle

Dr Jenny Smith

Patent Assistant - Leeds

Mark Green

Partner - London

Martin Vinsome

Partner - Newcastle

Dr Neil Pawlyn

Partner - Cardiff

Tom Baker

Partner - Cardiff

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