Case Studies - An Irish business enjoying international success and a trade mark portfolio to match

Connolly’s RED MILLS® is an Irish, family owned business specialising in precision animal nutrition with a rich heritage of family entrepreneurship.    The story begins at the time of the Great Famine in Ireland, when Carlow-born teenager Michael Connolly boarded a famine ship to America.  Michael carved out his fortune training race horses. Twenty years later, in 1866, Michael discovered that he had inherited a family bakery business and returned to Ireland. Under his management the business prospered and grew into a successful grocery, bakery and hardware store. Michael married and had three children including two sons Thomas and William.  In 1908, the brothers Thomas and William bought a derelict mill, so as to create their own raw materials.  The brothers restored the mill to working order and the family grew the business in spite of the challenges of World Wars I and II, and through the changing fortunes of the Irish economy for over a century. The company was imbued with the Connollys’ entrepreneurial enthusiasm, upgrading with the rural electrification of Ireland in the 1950s and embracing improvements such as modern grain drying methods and purchasing its first pellet mill from Holland in 1963. 

The Connolly family business developed their own products, including horse feed mixes with vitamins and minerals.  Their first feed mix was fed to legendary racehorse Vulpine, the first horse ever to compete twice – and win twice – within one Cheltenham festival.  Vulpine’s success shone a spotlight on both the esteemed trainer Paddy Mullins, and RED MILLS horse feeds.  

Alongside the family history of using the highest quality, natural ingredients, Connolly’s RED MILLS ® continues to innovate and to respect its entrepreneurial heritage.   A modern company with a scientific understanding of ingredient balance and a strong commitment to R&D, it is one of the first feed manufacturers who have on-site laboratory testing of Olympic and forensic standards.  

Connolly’s RED MILLS ® maintains a world-class reputation among leading trainers and breeders – and their domestic pet ranges are loved by generations of pets and their owners.  Brands such as Winner, Engage and Leader that have stood the test of time are supplemented by innovative new products such as Go Native grain free Dog Food® to cater to evolving international tastes.     

Connolly’s RED MILLS® trade mark and design portfolio was established in the 1980s as exports grew, and the company’s brand protection extends through many territories worldwide. All these rights needed to be catalogued carefully so that all renewal dates and details will be met. Hanna Moore + Curley helped to review the portfolio, gathering all the details of the worldwide registrations.  Our analysis of the portfolio helped Connolly’s RED MILLS® identify gaps in protection, by comparing the rights in force with the current product offerings and the countries to which products are exported.

I am very proud to work closely with the management and marketing team at Connolly’s RED MILLS® to understand the business strategy and help safeguard this prestigious Irish brand, protecting their reputation for high quality, and promoting customer loyalty. I believe that the strongest and most useful rights are best achieved by working in close partnership with clients. Most importantly, this helps Connolly’s RED MILLS® adopt a strategic approach to achieve their highest priorities systematically, on time and within budget. 

Connolly’s RED MILLS® trade mark portfolio spans over 50 countries including the US, Canada, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and throughout Europe.  Hanna Moore + Curley help with filing new trade mark applications for Connolly’s RED MILLS® and managing their brand worldwide.


Garryard House,
25/26 Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2
D02 PX51

Tel: +353 1 661 3930
Fax: +353 1 661 3453

[email protected]


The Mount, 2 Woodstock Link,
Belfast BT6 8DD,
Northern Ireland.

Tel: + 44 28 90 737 293
Fax: + 44 28 90 730 199

[email protected]


Room 8017, Chunhui Building,
No. 24 Tangshan Road, Xigang District,
Dalian 116011, P.R. China.

Tel: +86 411 8361 4855

[email protected]

Sign up to our newsletter
* indicates required
Serengeti E-Billing Certified IAM recommended MIP IP Stars Top Tier Firm
HMC Close