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IPO trademark boom ‘may be caused by Brexit vote’

Trademark applications at the UK Intellectual Property increased by 18% year on year, a possible sign that rights owners are making contingency plans in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.

Statistics released by the office this week show that in September last year there were 4,562 applications, compared to 5,390 in September this year.

In August, there was a 33% rise on August 2015. Those figures were reported during an industry event hosted by the Institute of Trademark Attorneys last month.

Steve Rowan, the IPO’s director of trademarks, told the event that there had been an increase in filings from overseas entities in the wake of the referendum result.

James Love, owner of IP boutique firm James Love Legal, agreed.

He told the Gazette: ‘Some companies are keen on maintaining dual protection, protecting their brands in both the UK registry and the EU Intellectual Property Office.’

‘The prevailing view is that EU rights will receive appropriate protection in the UK once Brexit takes place, and so there is no cause for immediate change of strategy. However, the lack of absolute certainty, which is likely to exist for some time, means that some businesses are taking a belt and braces approach.’

Love added the fall in value of the pound may be another reason behind the rise.

He said there had been an increase in UK filings by Chinese businesses in recent months ‘possibly indicating they are taking advantage of the cheaper cost of obtaining protection’.

By Max Walters  (Courtesy: The Law Gazette)