Consumer and retail

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.

How we can help

Click on the sectors below to find out more.

Fashion and luxury goods

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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Household goods

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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Leisure, tourism and culture

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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Media, entertainment and publishing

By 2021, the UK entertainment and media sector will be worth £72 billion. Digital services will account for over 60% of this, helped by the 14.5 trillion MB of data being consumed on the UK’s 89 million smartphones. The UK advertising industry will be worth £20 billion, 75% of which will be digital. If the estimated value in this sector is accurate, brands need to be ready. You need to exploit this opportunity with innovative and engaging content to create the ultimate customer experience.

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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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Sports and recreational equipment

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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Our blogs

Insights from our expert attorneys related to consumer and retail.

Trade marks

20-11-2018

A celebration of sustainability in fashion

We look at the sustainable winners from the Walpole Luxury Awards 2018.

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Trade marks

15-11-2018

Black Friday™ — infringing the trade mark of a retail phenomenon

There's a trade mark for the term 'Black Friday' in Germany. So can you use it without infringing?

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Patents

12-11-2018

Tea — a simple cuppa, or the elixir of youth?

It turns out that a decent cuppa can prevent disease and fight ageing... we break down the science.

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Our people

Leeds

Akber Ahmed

Trainee Trade Mark Attorney

Leeds

Alan Fiddes

Managing Partner

Cardiff

London

Alison Cole

Senior Trade Mark Attorney

London

Alison Simpson

Managing Partner

London

Anna Szpek

Senior Trade Mark Attorney

Cardiff

Annabel Hanratty

Trade Mark Attorney

Milton Keynes

Dr Christine Lund-Beck

Senior Trade Mark Attorney

London

Christopher Banister

Trade Mark Attorney

Leeds

Leeds

Newcastle

Leeds

Dr Jenny Smith

Trainee Patent Attorney

London

Mark Green

Partner

Newcastle

Cardiff

Cardiff

Tom Baker

Partner

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