Should cocktails be trademarked?

31st May, 2018 by Owen Bellwood

As increasingly innovative cocktails are created around the world, is it becoming more important for bars to protect their recipes, even by trademarking them?

Gosling rum's Dark 'N Stormy is one of a few trademarked cocktails in the world

The Dark ‘N Stormy is one of a few trademarked cocktails in the world

The issue of trademarking a cocktail has long caused much debate in the on-trade. Are you trademarking the name, recipe or both?

Among those that have successfully trademarked their creations is the Dark ‘N Stormy, the Painkiller, the Sazerac and the Hand Grenade.

One of the most famous examples, the Dark ‘N Stormy, is owned by Gosling’s rum, and made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, ginger beer and lime.

The most important thing to consider about trademarking cocktails is that it is the name of the serve that is protected under law, not the ingredients.

However there are so few trademarked cocktails out there, that it poses the question whether the complicated process is even worth the time and effort it requires.

With this in mind, we asked two industry experts whether bars should trademark the drinks they invent or whether there is little need to claim or protect their creations.

Over the following pages we present two opposing views on the topic.

One Response to “Should cocktails be trademarked?”

  1. Uwe Rusch says:

    How do you want to trademark protect taste? Restrictions over restrictions, it would harm the business.. The Cocktail market will regulate itself by quality aspects!

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