Trade Marks July 2023 August 2023

The importance of trademarks in the increasingly crowded beer market  has come to the fore recently as Edinburgh-based Jump Ship Brewing found itself unable to protect the name of its beer series from being used by BrewDog. 

As reported in The Scottish Sun, the owner of the alcohol-free brand, Sonja Mitchell, trademarked her business Jump Ship but did not trademark Shore Leave, the name of the beer range her brewery released last year.

BrewDog has since used the name Shore Leave for its Amber Ale and initially promoted it using the tagline “It’s time to jump ship,” a motto Jump Ship Brewing uses frequently.

The global brewery said it was “unaware of Jump Ship Brewing” when it chose the branding and changed this slogan to “Rock the Boat.”

Mitchell felt the branding overlap was “squashing” her small business’s brand and thinks she will need to change the name of her beer because BrewDog now has it protected under its own trademark.   

Intellectual property lawyer James Omond has previously told Brews News that since individual beers and series of beers are often named, brewery owners have more to protect than just their business name.

“The producers will have their principle brand but then they’ll have a sub brand… that from a technical perspective is a trade mark. I think producers possibly don’t stop to think about that as often,” he said.

Omond also previously told Brews News that trademarking has two benefits.

“It’s both the sword and the shield in that it can be used to stop other people from using a name similar to yours, and as a shield in that it provides a defence to someone else saying you’re infringing their trade mark.”

You can keep track of the latest trademark filings to protect your brands on the regularly updated list on Brews News’ trademarks page.

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