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 Love Island trade marks: the laws of attraction
Intellectual property & technology

Love Island trade marks: the laws of attraction



As the dust settles on the latest Love Island final, the contestants will be looking to build their own personal brands to capitalise on the exposure from being on one of televison’s most-watched reality shows. Most will likely fade into obscurity but what about the Love Island brand itself? The enduring success of the show and its international spin offs gives rise to lucrative intellectual property rights.

Here we take a look at how ITV Studios Limited manages and protects that brand.

Love Island trade marks and merchandise

Love Island has become known for its theme tune, outfits and catchphrases (some of which are intentional and others which are not).  Davide’s “You are a liar, actress” line was arguably the most quoted of this last series and is already being featured on T-shirts and mugs which are available to buy online.

There is no denying the popularity of the show. It has already been announced there will be two series of Love Island released in the UK in 2023 and there are now versions of the show in Australia, USA, South Africa and other countries.  Many of the elements that are recognisable from the show have been registered as trade marks by ITV Studios Limited.  A registered trade mark is known as “incorporeal moveable property” in Scotland meaning that it is a type of property that is not tangible and can be moved.

The Love Island online shop features all official Love Island merchandise.  The website advertises branded goods such as bottles, robes, suitcases and accessories, all containing Love Island trade marks.  One of the best-known item of Love Island merchandise is the Love Island water bottle and some may recall the highly-publicised issue of potential trade mark infringement that occurred when the Conservative party began issuing Love Island-style water bottles in what appeared to be an attempt to gain younger voters’ support.  The Conservative party later removed any reference to Love Island but it remains unclear whether this was a result of ITV Studios Limited taking enforcement action against the party.

How to register a trade mark

In order to register a trade mark, it must be distinctive and there are certain restrictions in relation to what can and cannot be included in the trade mark.  For example, the trade mark cannot be misleading or contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality.  Registration of a trade mark is done by making an application to the UK Intellectual Property Office.  The trade mark can comprise a word or phrase, an image or an image with words, letters and/or numbers, colours, the shape of goods of their packaging. There are also different classes of trade marks depending on how they are being used.  These classes include jewellery and watches, and clothing, footgear, and headgear.  Before registering a trade mark it is possible to check online whether anyone has a similar trade mark already and also check it against the assessment criteria.

The purpose of registering a trade mark is to protect the brand by preventing others from benefitting from the success of the brand.  Registering a trade mark allows the party who has registered it to take action in circumstances where there has been an infringement of the trade mark, which could potentially damage the reputation of the brand.

The protection offered by trade marks registered by ITV Studios Limited, following the success of Love Island, has allowed them to successfully manage the Love Island brand and generate income from the branded goods, sounds, phrases and programme format, demonstrating how successfully managing IP rights can benefit a brand.

Please contact a member of our Intellectual Property team for advice on brand protection.


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Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.