At HGF, we understand that retailers face a wide range of challenges when seeking comprehensive intellectual property protection. Managing large and often international brand portfolios in an efficient manner is essential, as is vigilance regarding the modern issue of online-based brand abuse.

Our retail and fashion team is supported by bespoke portfolio management which provides clients with 24/7 access to their portfolio. With a branding team comprising 38 specialist professionals including trade mark attorneys and solicitors, we can bring expertise and experience to support retailers and fashion houses in maintaining a strong IP portfolio.

Core areas of expertise

The threat of lookalike products is a common issue, particularly for food brands, and as retailers in the value and supermarket sectors work ever harder to differentiate their offerings, comparative advertising campaigns are increasingly common. Fashion retail is a particularly fast-moving and challenging area in which high-value designs are frequently imitated. Fashion has specific needs in terms of design protection, and the field of image rights is continually evolving. Add to this an increase in counterfeiting and the problems associated with manufacture overseas, and there is an abundance of issues to consider.

Extended supply chains and the increasing number of internet retail outlets require specific consideration. Retailers have to be particularly vigilant in protecting their brands and product designs - not just in the countries in which they trade, but also where they manufacture, to secure their sources of supply. With own-brand products becoming a source of increased profit margins for many retailers, businesses must consider a whole range of intellectual property rights to give their goods a competitive advantage; not only in terms of brand protection, but also issues of copyright, design and patent protection and enforcement and anti-counterfeiting.

IP for Retailers – Training Programme 

HGF provides support and training for retailers on key IP issues. For details of the current training programme, click here.  If you have any queries or are interested in any of the modules please contact Antony Gold on +44(0) 161 247 4925 / or Liz Renn on +44(0) 113 233 0189 / 

Our team

The activities of a modern retailer or fashion brand owner are fast moving and all-encompassing and the skills needed to protect such businesses are uniquely reflected in the scope and structure of the specialist HGF fashion and retail team.

We handle the full range of retail issues, from brand and patent clearance, protection, enforcement and counterfeiting through to comparative advertising, as well as passing-off and online infringements. All our teams are integrated within HGF, meaning that as one of the largest IP attorney practices in the United Kingdom we can provide retailers and fashion brands with all forms of intellectual property advice, not only on protection and portfolio management but also on trade marks, designs, patents and copyright. 

Our annual IP in Retail conferences looks at the major developments within the retail industry and discusses their implications and provides practical advise on dealing with them. 

Upcoming events:  Retail Week General Counsel  

Our clients

HGF acts for many of the UK’s leading retailers and fashion houses, as well as a number of international clients. To learn more about our retail and fashion background, see our team below or contact, who will be able to give you more information regarding our services.

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