Brexit inspires weird and wonderful trademark requests to Intellectual Property Office

Back in June, culture secretary John Whittingdale suggested leaving the EU would have no impact on the UK’s music industry. He was of the notion that Britain was the most “extraordinarily creative nation on the planet” and that its success had nothing to do with the European Union anyway. 

While it may be the case that the music sector continues to thrive despite the rest of the UK cutting down on hiring and spending since the Brexit vote, Whittingdale was wrong about the referendum not impacting us. It’s potentially given us a Brexit musical to look forward to. One quick search on the IPO’s website will unveil a trademark request for one.

There is certainly a plethora of songs to choose from, with numerous Spotify lists for the occasion spanning tunes such as Europe’s “Final Countdown,” to “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” by the Smiths, “Changes” from David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”.

Here’s the latter for your viewing pleasure – and a possible sneak-peak of what’s soon coming to the West End.

But the trademarking of the word Brexit doesn’t seem to be the preserve of musicals. In fact, the food and beverage sector seems to have made a wild dash for it – and British firms aren’t the only ones looking to capitalise.

A German company filed a trademark for a witty English Brexit tea, including everything from tea trays to tea-light holders. Let’s also not forget the cheese and biscuits firms looking to get in on the Brexit action.

It’s also worth noting that beer brands seem to battling it out, with the Boston Beer Company from the US hoping to use it for a line of “hard cider”. Meanwhile, Austrian business Gölles is looking to use the trademark for not only a line of beers, but distilled spirits as well.

Read more about the Brexit debate:

“It certainly seems to be the trademark of the month, let’s put it that way,” suggested Kate O’Rourke, president of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. “With the exception of the two rival alcohol brands, most should be able to gain the trademark, as you can have the same trademark registered for different products. In fact, someone already registered the term last March for a brand of mobile phone holders and crockery.”

As for the reason behind wanting such a trademark, the Boston Beer Company claimed not yet to know what the name would be used for, “but it would likely be for a small batch of cider out of [its] Angry Orchard research and development orchard in Walden, NY.” O’Rourke also noted the Welsh biscuit company’s team “claims ‘it might take [their] minds off the national nervous breakdown currently being experienced in the UK’.”

However, as The Guardian pointed out, most trademark request were made “within 48 hours of the result coming in – which feels much more like ill-thought-out opportunism than considered marketing.”

Of this comment, O’Rourke suggested it was common to see people file for trademarks thinking it was a good idea and then reconsidering in the cold light of day. She said: “Businesses may soon be wondering whether it’s a good idea to try to promote a Brexit product when 48 per cent of the country doesn’t agree with the result.”

Meanwhile, a significant proportion of the UK’s employment law comes from Europe – including discrimination rights, holiday pay and maternity and paternity leave – so could our “out” vote bring drastic changes to the country?

Image: Shutterstock

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