FEATURE Howes Percival

Food for thought – your intellectual property is worth protecting

In the food and drink industry, you may think that your products speak for themselves. You have dedicated your time to fi nding the perfect taste, look and smell for the customer, so why would you need to protect something as intangible as intellectual property? Customers associate their experience of your products or services with your brand (the name, logo and other features that they associate with your products and services) and you have expended time and energy in ensuring that your products are at the forefront of the market. Reputation is key to building a strong brand and growing your

business. You may have developed a unique product or process which customers are desperate to try. If you have a great reputation, customers will return, they will recommend you to others, and new customers will want to buy from you. However, you may also gain attention from competitors, or those

looking to enter the market, with the risk that some may try to take advantage of your reputation either by copying your brand or using a name which is very similar to it or by producing similar goods


and piggybacking on your years of research and development. If a copy-cat enters the market, customers may

well be confused and buy from the copy-cat either thinking that they are buying from you, or that they are buying from somebody connected with you. In addition to the fi nancial damage of those lost sales, if the copy-cat off ers poor-quality products or services to customers, your reputation will be damaged if customers associate them with you. T e biggest brands in the food and drink sector

protect their brands with trade mark registrations, but this is not exclusive to the big players. Registration enables businesses to protect their brand, add value to their business and maximise their competitive position. Trade mark protection will put you in the

strongest position if a copy-cat enters the same market using an identical or similar name or brand. However, even without a trade mark, the law of passing off can provide protection for the goodwill you have built in a brand from copy-cats.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54