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22nd April 2024


“Dry January” Trademark challenge signals end of abstention for AF Drinks

One of the UK’s leading alcohol-free brands, Big Drop Brewing Co, has successfully challenged a trademark on the term ‘Dry January’ in a tribunal held by the UK Intellectual Property Office*.

The trademark for Dry January was registered by Alcohol Research UK (now known as Alcohol Change UK) in 2014 to support its science-based resources for harmful and hazardous drinkers. This was in the primary class of educational and behavioural change programmes but, in 2022, ACUK sought to extend the trademark in new areas of products and services.

This attempt to trademark the phrase meant that ACUK argued that no one else – including low & no brands, venues and retailers – could use the words in relation to selling its drinks. Big Drop reasoned that this unduly monopolised the term, not only restricting the sales & marketing activity surrounding alcohol-free drinks but also having the unintended consequence of hindering the charity’s own overarching goal of reducing alcohol harm.

Rob Fink, founder of Big Drop, commented: “The alcohol-free movement has been driven by innovative start-up brands over the last few years by offering drinkers palatable alternatives for January and beyond. A lot of people across the board actually enjoy doing Dry January to give their bodies a much-needed rest while seeking out new alternatives emerging in the drinks world. Indeed, high quality alcohol-free drinks give people a reason to go and support the hospitality industry in January and reward retailers who go large on their seasonal displays. Many of those brands are pretty much aligned with ACUK on the need for effective work towards reducing alcohol harm so it makes sense to work together and not put-up unnecessary barriers.

– ENDS –

* The UK Intellectual Property Office’s decision (which was unchallenged by ACUK) is published here:

Photo attached: Rob Fink, founder & CEO of Big Drop Brewing Co

About Big Drop

Big Drop was launched in 2016 as the world’s first brewer dedicated to alcohol-free beer by City of London lawyer, Rob Fink and his school friend/bandmate James Kindred. Along with experimental brewer, Johnny Clayton, they have pioneered a process called Reduced Amylase Brewing. This is a fully-fermented brewing cycle in which the beer never rises above 0.5% ABV – so nothing is extracted and means it retains all the flavour and characteristics of a craft beer. Big Drop has since won over 100 international beer awards – including 7 x ‘World’s Best’ titles at the World Beer Awards (a record for any UK brewer, alcohol-free or otherwise). Now brewing under licence in the UK with In Good Company (owners of Fourpure and Magic Rock), Big Drop is recognised as a market leader in this rapidly growing sector. For more information about Big Drop’s beers, tasting notes and availability, please visit

Further information: Nick Heath 07720 297972 /

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