Companies Racing to Trademark Brexit
02 August 2016 by Michael Downing
It appears that lawyers aren’t the only ones looking to parlay U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union into a business opportunity. These brands do not want to miss the opportunity to trademark the name for their products to include the word Brexit since the UK voted to leave the European Union.
"Brexit Law" is a classic example of a non-allowable trade mark (in our opinion). Allen & Overy have applied in both the UK Registry (3172337) and the EU Registry (15602691). There is an obvious descriptive nature to the mark, in that Brexit raises a number of legal issues and companies may wish to take legal advice on the impact of Brexit on agreements they have with overseas suppliers. So "Brexit Law" is a type of legal advice rather than a distinctive trade mark. It will be interesting to see how the application progresses.
English Brexit Tea
Meanwhile, the German company Leisure Fun & Toys GmbH of Wedel, Germany has applied for "English Brexit Tea" in respect of tea lights, tea, and tea accessories such as teapots and teapot stands (3171400). Brexit has no particular meaning in relation to tea, and there is a subtle play on words with "English Breakfast Tea", so this application has been allowed. A nice example of how the distinctiveness test works, and how the same mark can be allowable or not allowable for different goods & services.
Get ready to book tickets for BREXIT – THE MUSICAL…
Christopher Bryant has applied to register this in respect of theatre entertainment, if it is the same Christopher Bryant as the one we have linked to then it might well happen! One can only speculate as to its content, but maybe we will see the evil baddie in a yellow and purple outfit finding his empire taken over by a large and flamboyant character with tousled blonde hair?
The Boston Beer, the maker of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, is seeking to trademark “Brexit” as a name of a hard cider. The beer company filed a trademark application on June 24th with the Trademark Office for BREXIT in Class 033 for “[h]ard cider.” The application was filed on an intent-to-use basis. The company has worked with cider makers from the U.K. and sources some apples from the country for its “Angry Orchard” line of hard cider. Don’t be surprised if the Boston Beer Company comes out with a BREXIT Cider soon.
As the Guardian points out in a recent article, most of the trademark applications were made "within 48 hours of the result coming in — which feels much more like ill-thought-out opportunism than considered marketing." In other words, is it likely that Brexit-branded beers and biscuits will ever actually see the light of day?