Scottish firm says Trade Marks rise indicates encouraging climate for indigenous food and drink makers

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Intellectual property specialist Marks & Clerk has hailed a consistent rise in the number of UK trade mark applications originating from Scotland – citing it as evidence of the country’s “strong and sustained entrepreneurial spirit”, particularly in the food and drink sector.

Recent data from the Intellectual Property Office shows that trade mark applications from north of the border rose from 2,448 in 2015 to 2,736 in 2016 (11.7%), while registrations increased from 2,013 to 2,288 (13.6%) in the same period.

Campbell Newell, a partner in Marks & Clerk’s Edinburgh office, notes that the spike in applications particularly from Scotland’s food and drink makers – including a recent upsurge of craft brewers and distillers – indicates that the Scottish food and drink sector is thriving.

Campbell said: “Scotland has a long and proud tradition of producing ambitious entrepreneurs, and we continue to punch above our weight in so many sectors – be it food and drink or tourism. Despite a climate of economic and political uncertainty, we’re seeing a very healthy Scottish picture, and businesses are recognising the importance of protecting and investing in their trade marks.

“We’re seeing this replicated across our Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen offices, so there is every reason to be encouraged.

“It’s a huge tribute to Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit, particularly in the Scottish brewery sector which has doubled since 2010 with 115 breweries operating in 2016, compared to just 55 in 2010. Start-up breweries have played a major role in that.

“It also further serves to reaffirm the country’s status as a leading marketplace for ambitious young businesses looking to make their mark.”

The data also shows Scotland has outperformed Wales and Northern Ireland in both areas.

Wales filed 1,372 applications in 2015, rising to 1,431 in 2016 (4%), and made 1,128 registrations, rising to 1,201 (6.5%) across the same period.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s applications increased from 508 to 565 (11.2%), and its registrations rose from 409 to 447 (9.3%).

UK-wide, the trade marks picture has remained buoyant with IPO data showing applications have risen consistently, growing from 41,044 in 2011 to 65,710 in 2016. Likewise, UK trade mark registrations have risen from 33,172 to 54,222 over that period.

The UK’s patent filing meanwhile has remained largely steady across the past five years, with applications fluctuating only slightly from 22,256 in 2011 to 22,055 in 2016.


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