There has been a marked rise in trade mark activity within the UK financial services sector. This is down to the increasing popularity of Fintech (financial technology) products and services.
According to research by RPC ( a professional services firm), there has been a 35% increase in registered trade marks by financial services firms over the last five years. In 2011, 3,141 trade marks were registered in this sector, while in 2016 the number had grown to 4,228.
Traditionally, the UK’s financial sector has always been active for the registration of new trade marks. However, it’s the investment in Fintech, both from start-ups and established firms that has resulted in this sharp increase of new products and services protected by trade marks.
There has always been a need for trade marks within financial services, as products can be easily copied by competitors. The drive for differentiation in an increasingly crowded market space has led to more trade marks being filed.
Competition in Fintech
With multinational firms and a plethora of start-ups fighting to compete in the rapidly expanding Fintech area, trade marked products are more important than ever. Companies are hoping to stand out from the crowd by registering trade marks for both individual products and suites of services.
Fintech start-ups and banks, such as Redwood Bank, Atom Bank and Monzo have all registered various trade marks over the last few months.
Fintech trade marks
Some examples of fintech and financial services trade marks that were registered during 2016 include:
- BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) registered a trade mark for its name ‘BABB: Everyone is a bank’ in October.
- Bondora is a peer-to-peer online lender and registered a trade mark for its name ‘Bondora just takes a minute to beat your bank’ in September.
- Zentity, a digital banking platform, registered a trade mark for its name ‘Zentity: A touch of innovation’ in February.
- Numus Cash, a digitally automated payments service designed for retailers protected its name ‘Numus: cash as a service’ in August.
The case for trade marks
As financial services firms and start-ups continue to invest millions into new services and products, the need for registering trade marks becomes more apparent. It’s vital for firms and businesses to protect their investments with trade marks.
Without the protection afforded by registered trade marks, services and products will be ripped off. It’s easy for competitors to copy products and launch competitive services that will not only confuse consumers but also deny profits to the original developers.
There will be no let up in the expansion of Fintech, and along with other markets such as Regtech (regulatory technology) also growing fast, it’s likely that the increase in trade mark registrations will continue.
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