Recent fintech innovations have caused a rise in trademark numbers registered by various financial companies in the UK. In 2016, the sector had reported registering a little over 4,000 trademarks. There is increasing competition among established firms and start-up companies that are trying to create trademarks for separate products and product suites.
The rise of financial trademarks
Reports suggest a 35 percent increase in financial trademarks over a period of five years (data provided by the Intellectual Property Office). Compiled data indicates that the booming fintech sector in the UK has been a major contributor to the spike. Some of the names trademarked in the previous years include Zentity (net-banking platform), Numus Cash (service for automatic cash payment), and Bondora (peer-to-peer lending service).
The increasing popularity of trademark use in the financial sector is due to the fact that it is comparatively simpler for the competition to copy a financial product. This can ultimately lead to commoditization.
Monzo, a well-known fintech startup, had to come up with a new name in 2016 because its first name was confronted with a trademark controversy. According to Ben Mark, the legal director of trademarks at RPC, registering trademarks has become crucial to avoid the launch of similar products and cause confusion among customers.
Since the setting in of the financial crisis, fintech has evolved as the fastest developing business sector in the UK. According to the Treasury, the net worth of the sector is approximately £7 billion for the economy and it currently employs almost 60,000 people.
London leads the way for fintech
London turned out to be the hub for fintech startups in the continent. Despite fears around Brexit and its impact on the industry, 2017 was a booming year as far as investments were concerned. Reports suggest that investors put in more than £825 million into the fintech firms in the UK in 2017 (data provided by London & Partners, a promotional agency of the London Mayor).
At present, London is ranked as the 4th most lucrative city globally for capital investment in fintech. The cities ranked above London are New York, Beijing, and San Francisco. Companies based in London have managed to raise £2.4 billion in early-stage investment in the last five years. This is a lot more than its closest European competitor, Stockholm and also more than Berlin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris combined.