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Sellotape Nz Limited Wants To Protect Its Brand

Sellotape Nz Limited Wants To Protect Its Brand.


1 July, 2002


Proposed changes to New Zealand's trade mark law means a trade mark registration can be removed or cancelled if the trademark becomes generic or descriptive of its product by the 'trade' or the public.

As a result, Sellotape New Zealand Limited, through its Intellectual Property lawyers, AJ Park, have formulated an educational programme, designed to point out to the public that the registered trade mark SELLOTAPE should not be confused as being the generic name for the product, adhesive tape.

John Hackett, Partner at A J Park, says the SELLOTAPE trade mark is one of the world's best-known brands. "It is the leading market brand for adhesive or sticky tape, and has been around for over 50 years."

"The purpose of Sellotape New Zealand Limited's campaign is to remind people that SELLOTAPE is a trade mark for an adhesive/ sticky tape", he said.

Sellotape New Zealand Limited say they are not trying to be "heavies" or adopt bullying or intimidatory tactics over the issue.

"Sellotape New Zealand Ltd have gone to great lengths to use an educational approach, as they recognise there is no point in trying to force people not to use SELLOTAPE as a generic term", John Hackett says.

"They prefer to point out that many years, a lot of effort, and millions of dollars, have gone into establishing a world-wide brand to which immeasurable goodwill attaches", he says.

John Hackett points out that the public relies on strong trade marks such as SELLOTAPE to indicate product quality they can rely on. "If anybody could refer to their adhesive tape as "Sellotape" then that standard of quality would disappear."

John Hackett, says "picture a scenario where Rollerblade, Inc and Sellotape GB Limited could no longer rely on their respective ROLLERBLADE and SELLOTAPE trade marks, because their brands had become generic. Businesses rely on being able to use valuable names as their brands, and enforce them over their competitors."

John Hackett says all companies in New Zealand that have particularly high brand profiles attached to a product will have to tackle the same public education issues as Sellotape New Zealand, or risk jeopardising their trade marks.


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