Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Internet increases danger of brands becoming genericised

PRESS RELEASE
Zone IP (The Zone Corporation)
19 October 2012

Internet and social media increase danger of brands becoming genericised

Impending court action between Pink® Batts® supplier Tasman Insulation and German-owned Knauf Insulation over alleged infringement of the Batts® trade mark highlights the growing danger of brands becoming genericised, warns a Wellington trade mark lawyer.

Intellectual property expert, Theodore Doucas of Zone IP, an intellectual property consultancy in Wellington, said regardless of the outcome in this particular court case, it was important that companies guard against their trade marks passing into common use.

“The Internet and the ease of widespread mass communication through social media means that it is now easier than it has ever been for registered brands to fall into genericuse.

“This means that the Pink® Batts® case is particularly interesting and important here because the genericisation of brands in New Zealand has never really been put to the test, but it’s not uncommon as some previous examples illustrate.

“The name ASPIRIN, originally a trademark of Bayer, was declared generic in the United States some time ago, as was the name THERMOS (originally a Thermos GmbH trademark), and even the name ESCALATOR. However, THERMOS® is still a registered trade mark for flasks and insulated containers in New Zealand.

“For example, you would think that words or names, depending on your perspective, like Jandals® for footwear, Band-Aid® for adhesive plasters, Boogie® for body boards, Jacuzzi® for whirlpool spas and Weed Eater® for grass and weedcutting machines are just everyday words, but they are not. They are registered trademarks which can only be used by their owners for those goods,” said Mr Doucas.

Once a trademark passes into common usage, and if the courts find it has come into generic usage, the trademark registration can be revoked.

“Recently we saw word Radler® upheld as a trade mark here in New Zealand, but it remains a generic term for a light beer shandy overseas – so to further complicated things, what may be generic in one country, isn’t necessarily generic in another.

“However a number of companies have acted to take their brands back from the brink of genericisation.”

He said there are steps that a company could take to keep their brands from passing into generic use:

“The fact that your trade mark should be registered is a given.

“But if you need to revive your brand, you could consider adding a description to the name. For example, GIB® are doing this successfully with the description: ‘GIB® plasterboard’.

“A second tactic is to have your trade mark law firm notify media organisations that a particular term is a registered trade mark and if they want to write something like ‘pass the Kleenex®’ when reviewing a sad movie, they should acknowledge the trademark of that particular brand.

“Finally, be vigilant with your brand because names can have immeasurable value and holdmassive commercial advantage when you consider the time and investment that has gone into raising awareness about a particular brand – it’s just that sometimes the marketing department do their job too well,” he said.

Ends/…

About Zone IP

ZONE IP is an intellectual property consultancy providing authoritative advice in trademarks, copyright and branding. ZONE IP is headed by a trade marks lawyer and a former Assistant Commissioner of Patents, Trade Marks and Designs of the Intellectual Property Office of NewZealand (IPONZ).

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news