Big tobacco firms registered over 650 new cigarette trademarks last year, a 125 per cent year-on-year jump, as they look to protect their multi-million pound investments in the fast-growing electronic cigarette market.
In 2010 just 161 new cigarette trademark registrations were filed in the UK. By 2012 this had risen to 290 and last year it reached 652, according to figures released by City law firm RPC.
Tobacco firms have made major investments in ecigarettes over the last year. In June Philip Morris acquired UK-based Nicocigs, owner of Nicolites, and last year Lorillard, the US’ third largest cigarette firm, acquired SkyCig for £30m.
“Global tobacco businesses are pouring millions of pounds into these new brands, which means more activity in protecting their brands with trademark registrations,” said RPC partner and head of intellectual property and technology Jeremy Drew. “As the ecigarette industry continues to expand, tobacco businesses will be looking to launch new products and to invest heavily to differentiate their products through branding and advertising.”