The food sector has undergone major changes in the past 25 or 30 years. Artisanal and farmhouse production methods have given way to modern industrial processing, which has both increased productivity and improved the sanitary conditions of the resulting food products. Small grocery stores have been pushed aside by major retail outlets, with a large selection of products competing for consumers' attention, all seeking to instil individual brand awareness to encourage repeat purchases. At the same time, purchasing power has risen, and with it foods have ceased to be viewed solely as necessities, with many food items coming to be viewed as gourmet items to be consumed purely for pleasure and commanding premium prices. Furthermore, this all has all tied in with globalization of the marketplace, with delocalization of production lowering costs, use of the Internet by consumers to purchase goods, and diversification and internationalization of companies to spread risk and increase customer base.
Food and beverage producing companies have thus been forced into a cycle of continuous innovation to create new products and design packaging get-ups attractive to consumers to drive sales and improve returns from their production processes, supplementing the domestic market with potential international customers in such varied markets as Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, each with its own distinctive consumer attitudes. All this makes trademark and design protection for brands and patent protection for inventions essential to ensure that innovative companies remain competitive and enjoy exclusive rights in their creations.
ELZABURU has a team of IP lawyers who are recognized experts in product branding, food/beverage company brand identity, and exclusive patent rights and who will be happy to assist and advise on:
- Trademarks as brands for identifying new products, updating existing brands;
- Industrial designs for package shapes, packaging decoration, as wella s special product shapes;
- New plant varieties;
- Patents for new manufacturing processess, machine inventions, new foods, new food additives, and so on;
- Utility models for less complicated apparatus;
- All in the framework of both national and international markets.
Use of the term Champagne to identify a bar infringes the protected designation of origin Champagne. Judgment of Granada Court of Appeal of 28 October 2015, Champagne
Commentary of the Champagne case about infringement of a designation of origin.
Product shape and acquired distinctiveness: possible registration of the KIT KAT trademark
On 16 September 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its long-awaited judgment (case C-215/14) concerning the possible registration of the shape of Kit Kat chocolate wafers.
Protection of geographical indications against translation, generic use, evocation, and other potential enemies: Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac v Korkein hallinto-oikeus
Commentary about cases C-4/10 and C-27/10 (Cognac) about the cancellation of a trademark that includes a geographical indication.