Carlton United's new branding for Pure Blonde is likely to help it in any future trade mark protection or related legal action.
The new bottle and label design makes three changes. It has an embossed Pure Blonde crest in the glass, giving it a separate status as a brand. It has a central label which emphasises the word "Pure", having taken the crest out. It has a longer neck label that connotes premium and emphasises the word "Premium".
Through rebranding Carlton not only keeps its product's identity fresh and contemporary, it also strengthens its legal rights to protect its intellectual property.
When we last wrote about Pure Blonde in "Trade mark law strategy kept simple for blondes". On the right is the bottle with its original labels. The emphasis there too was on clever tactics with intellectual property, specifically, use of scope creep in the trade mark strategy for Pure Blonde.
When we prepare trade mark applications for food and beverage industry clients it is commonplace for us to ask about how the mark is to appear in packaging design. Failure to consider this can reduce the scope and quality of legal protection.
We've been approached by new clients with packaging designs that fail to clearly distinguish the brand or trade mark elements of the product from the generic product description.
To illustrate, a packet of chips that has the word CHIPS at the top in huge capital letters and lower down in the packet in smaller font "Big Joe's Chips". Then next to or near the "Big Joe's Chips" brand we find no indication or clue it is the brand name or claimed as a trade mark, eg no TM symbol.
We've even seen new clients with registered trade marks for their brand using no ® symbol on their package. Again, no indication that the brand is claimed as a trade mark.
These weaknesses can lead to misfortune in legal disputes by weakening claims to having a monopoly legal right in a specific word, logo or other identifier.
Branding for packaged products is strengthened by knowing what to register, using appropriate notices on packaging, and keeping the brand alive like Carlton United keeps doing so skillfully.