Trademark warning prompted by brewery cases

Trademark advice should be sought early in the life of a business, an expert has warned following high profile legal action.

Recently it was revealed Red Bull warned a Norfolk micro-brewery, called Redwell,that it must change its name or face legal action. Red Bull warned the name could confuse customers and tarnish its reputation.

Meanwhile, the small Manchester-based, family-run brewery TicketyBrew reportedly came under pressure from Crabbies, makers of alcoholic ginger beer, a company which has trademarked the phrase ‘tickety-boo’ to use in its advertising.

Benjamin Dredge, solicitor in the corporate team at Napthens solicitors and an expert in intellectual property law, has warned that small businesses should seek proper trademark advice to prevent similar, and potentially costly, legal disputes.

He said: “Many businesses attempt to submit trademark applications themselves without the proper legal advice.

“These cases highlight the importance of trademark searches, which can quickly show what businesses exist with similar names and could therefore oppose the application.

“Trademark battles can be expensive and time consuming, and have the potential to leave a small business fighting for its life. “It is therefore vital to seek proper legal advice at an early stage and apply to register a trademark ideally before money is spent on marketing and advertising, let alone trading.”