The food and beverage industry encompasses a wide range of services and products and faces a global challenge of providing food to a growing population of humans and animals, with a growing demand for sophisticated food products. Against the backdrop of a depletion of land and other food sources, and the global demand for healthy, high-quality food with less harm to the environment, the food industry must provide creative solutions that form the basis for growth of the food tech industry. The industry combines smart technologies from areas of other technologies (including food printing, custom nutrition support systems, and more) with the classic food world and consumer demand for healthy, natural and environmentally-friendly food.
In the food tech industry, as with any tech industry, creating economic value for a company or enterprise from its development and innovation depends on maintaining exclusivity under, among others, intellectual property protection laws.
Exclusivity can sometimes be maintained through trade secrets (under the Commercial Torts Law), which play an important role in the food industry. However, the value of trade secrets is generally limited, and it is important to protect the products of innovation by registering rights in a regulated and clear way without which the venture’s chances of securing the launch and progress of a product’s development and marketing are generally slim.
One of the most important forms of protection for new technologies is the patent. A patent can be issued on, among others, new food ingredients (such as natural sugar substitutes, gluten-free flour and protein substitutes), new food products (such as cultured meat, reduced starch and sugar foods), smart packaging, production chain technologies and more.
Another possible protection in the food industry is registration of a design. A design refers to the appearance of a product or part of it, including the outline, color, shape, decoration, or texture of the material from which it is made. Among the examples that may be registrable as a design in the food world include cakes, chocolates and kitchen utensils.
The extensive knowledge and experience of the Group’s professionals allows them to consult on and build an intellectual property strategy that is tailored to meet each client’s needs and business goals.
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Senior Partner, Head of Life Science & Chemistry PracticeReinhold Cohn & Partners
Senior Partner, Head of Legal PracticeReinhold Cohn & Partners