The healthcare landscape is changing and trademark registrations need to keep up.
The healthcare market is evolving, and as well as the merging of what were more traditional roles between innovative and generic healthcare brands, we are seeing an increase in innovation, utilization of technology and greater interface with customers. In addition healthcare companies are striving to differentiate their products and brands. This may not just be by advancements in the medicines or products themselves, but in regard to improving delivery methods (for example prefilled syringes, designer capsules), after care services (such as monitoring apps, provision of health and life style information) and greater engagement with their customers.
We are therefore seeing changes in trademark registration strategies, with non-traditional trademark registrations such as shape (for non functional shape elements) and colour becoming more widely used, as well as design registrations being applied for to protect non-functional design elements of customer facing products. See our heat map on page 3 showing where you can register shape trademarks.
As well as the type of registrations being obtained, the scope of the specifications should also be considered as the healthcare companies move into providing more sophisticated products and services. Should the existing registration be extended to include a new method of delivery (eg syringes) as well as classes 9 and 42 to cover apps, or class 35 and 44 for product or health advisory services?
These are the types of conversations we are having with our clients as we assist them with seeking appropriate trademark protection for use in today’s changing healthcare landscape.