Services

Our services are centred around intellectual property that can be registered. We protect innovation, design, and branding across all sectors of industry, and at all stages in the supply chain.

For each IP right we offer services covering strategic advice, pre-registration searches, registrations and renewals, oppositions and dispute resolution. We handle work throughout the world, working with local colleagues in over 100 countries.

Sectors

Our attorneys specialise in one or more sectors of industry, which enables them to provide quality advice with a commercial focus.

Our patent specialists have detailed understanding of the background technology, which ensures that your patent applications are prepared with the correct scope, reducing the likelihood of challenges from third parties and objections from the patent office.

They also advise whether other forms of protection would be more appropriate. Our brand specialists work with brand managers for leading brands and their advice is commercially focussed making sure that you get the best value from your budget.

Gin, caterpillars and copycat products


1st Jun 2021

There have been a growing number of trade mark disputes reported in the press recently, involving established brands in the food and beverage sector and supermarket copycats – from caterpillar themed cakes to own label inspired India Pale Ale.  Supermarket copycats are nothing new, but some of the recent disputes raise thought provoking questions as to how a brand owner might take steps to layer up on their trade mark protection in order to make it more difficult for supermarkets to launch copycat products.

On 25 May 2021 the Court of Session in Scotland issued a decision granting an interim injunction to the owner of the Hendrick’s gin brand, banning Lidl’s redesigned Hampstead gin from sale in the UK. Central to Hendrick’s success was its UK registered trade mark for its gin bottle (UK registration No. 00910544575 – shown below), which Lidl had moved significantly closer to when redesigning its Hampstead gin product (before and after images of the Hampstead gin bottle are shown below).

Interestingly, the owner of the Hendrick’s gin brand failed to establish that there would be a likelihood of confusion between the two products or that, despite the redesigned Hampstead bottle bringing the Hendrick’s bottle to mind, there would be a misrepresentation amongst the relevant public. However, it was the reputation that UK trade mark registration No. 00910544575 enjoys in the UK that saved the day for the brand owner. The judge considered that the Hampstead bottle would call the Hendrick’s mark to mind and there was a reasonable prospect of Lidl’s product taking an unfair advantage of the reputation in the earlier mark or otherwise damaging that reputation.  

This decision confirms that simple word and logo mark registrations may not be sufficient to combat copycat products. Protecting other important branding elements, such as shapes and trade dress, are an essential part of building a strong Intellectual Property portfolio and they may just hold the key to success against sophisticated infringers.

We will be providing further detail and discussion on this interesting case in due course – please visit our website www.reddie.co.uk.

Reddie & Grose are specialists in advising on and protecting Intellectual Property rights.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

Author
Dale Carter
Partner
About the author

Would you like to know more? You can talk to Dale Carter who will be able to help. Call +44 (0)20 7539 4491

EmailVCard

Register for notifications
Enter your email address here to receive our monthly bulletin of IP news and developments.
    Please read our privacy notice.
Saved Staff
Staff member

Remove all

Saved profiles
Call +44 (0)20 7242 0901
Call +44 (0)1223 360 350
Call +49 (0) 89 206054 267
Call +(00) 31 70 800 2162