World of IP Round Up: September

This month has seen a host of companies launch new brands or undergo re-branding efforts. In each case, the launch of a new brand is viewed as an opportunity to set a new foundation for the business moving forward. For these companies, September really is a brand new world.

Each of these brands are protected by trade marks (or not in some cases, as we shall see); and offer a new sign for customers and clients to associate the company’s goods and services with.

Whether it’s Tesco’s launch of “Jack’s” amid trade mark opposition, or the re-branding of beleaguered companies incumbents such as Uber and Papa John’s – each brand renewal is a critical time for a business who seek to ensure the benefit outweighs the cost of launching an entirely new brand identity.

Tesco Launch “Jack’s” to address Lidl and Aldi – amid trade mark opposition

Once a market of incumbent players, food retail in the UK has experienced a serious shakeup in the past 5 years. Amongst other things, German retailers Lidl and Aldi have entered the market and have realigned the discount category with great success. A big part of this is the general “bifurcation” of the sector (a trend that is happening across many) between luxury and acceptable discount goods. Truly, now is the era of getting your “bits” from a premium retailer and your “big-shop” from a no frills store.

Behind this shift is a general squeeze on the expendable income of households who are increasingly happy to restrict their big ticket shopping to a few select treats. (Clearly a big part of this success has also been the “proximity” of Aldi’s offerings to established brands – giving consumers [and their kids] as little reason to complain about off brand offerings as possible.) Gone are the days of Tesco Basics in the lunch box.

This savvy from Aldi and Lidl has put the squeeze on incumbent middle-market food retailers such as Tesco who, all of a sudden, find themselves a “jack of all trades, and master of none” – within this new status quo.

And it is under that auspicious segue that we reach the heart of the matter – Tesco’s announcement of “Jack’s” it’s offshoot answer to the German success stories.

Named after Tesco’s founder, Jack Cohen, the brand represents a new approach from Tesco to it’s discount offerings. Notably it is a complete offshoot of it’s primary brand. This may be a reaction to Sainsbury’s acquisition of ASDA which in time might position as it’s answer to Aldi/Lidl. (Notably this acquisition is said to result in up to a significant saving for the consumer in both outlets due to supply chain optimization.)

Further to this is “Jack’s” focus on British produce first and foremost – which many see as tapping into the political zeitgeist (for better or worse). Perhaps most critical in relation to IP is the precarious position the burgeoning brand is in relation to it’s eponymous trade mark. The brand has launched under the shadow of several oppositions. Some have seen this as a genius marketing technique – though I would argue that IP professionals and business owners are probably not their core demographic.

This is Money: Tesco braves legal minefield to launch discount store Jack’s

World Trademark Review: Crazy or canny? Tesco trademark ‘misstep’ may actually be a conscious commercial decision

Campaign: Tesco goes big on Britishness with discounter brand Jack’s

Uber, Papa John(‘)s and Weight Watchers Look to Put The Past Behind them with New Brands

As per the above – Tesco were not the only company to make significant changes to their brand this month. Uber and Papa John’s (now without the apostrophe, as we shall find out), have both set our to distance themselves from their prior leadership through a refresh of their brand.

Firstly, Uber, who have garnered an incredibly bad corporate reputation over the course of it’s growth into a “verb” (be careful what you wish for) synonymous with it’s services.

Over the years the company had become known to employ a “whatever it takes” approach to dominance, that has included alleged corporate espionage, as well as some underhand tactics to best it’s competitors in its earlier days. Much of this had been linked to now ousted CEO Travis Kalanick who had seemingly guided these operations, and had also failed to address damning testimonies relation to the internal culture of the company.

This has led to the 2nd refresh of their brand, in as many years which, along with new corporate leadership looks set to consign much of the above to the past in it’s ongoing endeavours.

Fast Company: Uber has a new brand. Again.

Forbes: Will Uber’s Brand Refresh Convince Women To Forgive Them?

Papa Johns has also seemingly looked to draw attention away from it’s disgraced and eponymous founder who, after a series of prior incidents has found himself ousted from the board. This occurred as a consequence of a company call being made public wherein the founder had used racist language.

The registrations for new trade marks seek to stress this point by removing the apostrophe from the brand name; with advertising campaigns also focusing on the diverse ordinary people who have driven Papa Johns’ success as a company over the years.

DesignTaxi: Papa John’s Veers From Fallen Founder With New Logo & Employee-Focused Spot

Entrepreneur: Papa John’s Files Trademark to Lose Its Apostrophe and Spotlights New ‘Papas’ Who Aren’t Its Founder

Oh, and Weight Watchers do not want to be called that anymore. “WW” is going to focus now on the holistic theme of wellness and not just people’s waistlines.

Bloomberg: Weight Watchers Bets a Brand Overhaul Can Extend Oprah’s Rally

Critical to the all above is the establishment of a new brand to provide a “line in the sand” when it comes to changing the direction of a company – and shutting the door on the presentation of a company during harder times.

With all that being said, here are the rest of this month’s big headlines.

World of IP Round Up: The Best of the Rest

Apple applies for four Apple Park trademarks, as Core ML trademark is granted |

Apple Files Four Trademark Applications for the ‘Data & Privacy’ Icon |

Amazon streamlines ad products under new Amazon Advertising brand – Marketing Land |

How Huawei’s marketing helped it become the number two smartphone brand |

Amazon Files Trademark Applications, Boosts Fashion Presence |

Could ‘Elder Scrolls 6’ be Redfall? Trade mark filing suggests so |

Qualcomm takes aim at counterfeit and illegal devices with new platform |

Nintendo’s N64 trademark filing approved, suggests Classic Edition of console will arrive soon |

How luxury retail is turning to gaming to drive brand-consumer interactions |

Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Giving Its Intellectual Property to Intel |

How inventor Shaun spent £98k on patents for his ingenious hairbrush |

To boldly brand: Nasa may sell naming rights for spaceships |

Judge Ends Bayer Battle Over ‘Flanax’ Trademark |

Design Copy War Of ‘Chocolat’ |

Poundworld Intellectual Property Assets Offered for Sale by Hilco Streambank |

Nivea parent company successfully puts out cigarette trademark |

German court delays YouTube intellectual property case |

Registering a trade mark is not as simple as it might appear…

Once the Brand of Bros, Dollar Shave Club Is Now Aiming to Conquer the Wellness Market |

Lifestyle Brands Are Building Hotels Now. Here’s Why That Actually Makes Sense.

Samsung Buds trademark suggests new earphones may be on the way |

A new application suggests Amazon is preparing to double down on selling its own jewelry |

“Chanel-esque” Jackets, Uber as a Verb, and the Power (and Risks?) of the All-Encompassing Trademark |


Australia: China persisting with intellectual property theft in violation of international commitments: report |

China: Demonisation of China hits home |

China: Alipay crowned China’s most relevant brand as home-grown brands dominate the list |

China: Peppa Pig trademark repeatedly registered “illegally” in China |

India: Bombay High Court Imposes Heavy Costs On A Habitual Infringer |

USA: Ohio State files action vs. OU for block “O” trademark |

USA: Costco Appeal of $19M Tiffany Win Could Shift Trademark Law |

USA: Railtown Brewing Sues Railbird Taphouse Over Trademark Concerns |

USA: A Soft Drink Trademark Battle Over the Word ‘Zero’ | The Legal Intelligencer

USA: Aloha Poke II? Fijians outraged as US businessman trademarks ‘bula’ |

USA: What Start-ups Need to Know About Intellectual Property

New Zealand: Judge orders destruction of Weetabix boxes in trademark dispute |

Saudi Arabia: Intellectual property chief meets with business owners |

The UN can boost global health by simply protecting IP rights |

York Gin brand selling fast |

Intellectual property: Brexit plans are a positive sign for rights owners |

Record £400m UK music sales abroad, but Brexit ‘may hit income’ |

What Happened to Brexit? A Trademark Update |

CIPA President writes to Theresa May on EUIPO Brexit issue |

Orla Kiely, the brand favoured by the Royals, collapses |

Norfolk Toy maker shares the successes and challenges of trading in China |

The @The_IPO share new guidance on the implementation of the Trade Mark Directive 2015 –

Polish fashion brand to ramp up UK offering as rivals go to the wall |

H&M Scores Victory Against Similarly-Named “HM Megabrands” in India |

Here’s How Brands Like H&M Get Away With Copying Other Designers |

This New Brand Wants To Talk About The Dirty Secrets Of Athleisure |

Why Supreme Isn’t Allowed To Trademark Its Iconic Box Logo |

CJEU stamps out Birkenstock trademark appeal |

Why this Gucci knockoff is totally legal |

Vans “the next major lifestyle brand”

Victoria Beckham brings her brand home to London Fashion Week |

How Sportswear Brand Fila Is Rebooting Itself

Will Michael Kors’ Acquisition Turn Versace Into a Midbrow Brand? |

J. Crew to Unveil New Brand for Younger Women in Recovery Plan |

Balenciaga is Taking on a Pet “Streetwear” Company Over Pawlenciaga Trademark |

Design and Branding

Debenhams ‘comes out fighting’ with new brand identity |

Heineken’s new brand strategy will definitely not leave you guessing |

How to name your company, according to the go-to gurus of startup branding |

Trade mark registration: a ‘stitch’ in time saves nine |

‘This is what a brand with powerful purpose looks like’ |

‘Few companies can afford to anger that many consumers and survive’ |

John Lewis and Waitrose unveil ‘modern, progressive’ new brand identity

Adidas: Climbing Up Or Decelerating?

Lufthansa’s brand takes flight with Snapchat |

12 hot new brands that millennials can’t get enough of |

Having a strong brand is a driving force of revenue |

Why one beer brand overhauled its identity just months after launching

Nasdaq Grows Its Digital Brand With Explosive Social Media Content

Aston Martin races to become player as global luxury brand |

How a Bacon Brand Charmingly Responded to Supreme’s Appropriation of Its Logo |

Marvel Comics Abandons Monsters Unleashed Trademark |

BMW Opposes Marvel’s Trademark of Ghost-Spider |

Travis Scott Is Reportedly Trying to Trademark ‘S.P.A.C.E’ |

Kanye West Files Paperwork to Trademark New Film Company |

Led Zeppelin might launch a streaming service, trademark application suggests |

GM Files Mysterious “Sport Control AWD” Trademark |

Copyright and tattoos: where are we now? |

Conor McGregor suffers major blow in bid to launch ‘Notorious’ whiskey brand |

But then launches whiskey brand and under new name |

“The Hundred”: England and Wales Cricket Board seeks overseas trademark for new 100-ball format |

That Bizarre Trademark Suit Between Music Promoters Over An ‘Ultra’ Trademark Nobody Owned Is Still Going On |

Debate over facepalm emoji trademark stirs controversy |

£50,000 in counterfeit clothes, electronics and perfumes seized from Shropshire house |

Fake handbags, clothes and perfume seized in raid in Strangeways |

Holly Willoughby Quits Her Own Lifestyle Brand To Spend More Time With Family

Is Your Rare Whisky a Fake? |

Board games are increasingly under risk of counterfeiting due to their increased popularity |