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

 


Companies Office registration does not protect company names


29 November 2012

Companies Office registration does not protect company names, brands or logos

The most common mistake Kiwi business owners make is thinking that their brand name is protected because the New Zealand Companies Office (Companies Office) allowed them to register the company.

Intellectual property expert, Theodore Doucas of Zone IP, an intellectual property consultancy in Wellington, said he receives phone calls every week from puzzled business owners who want to know why their company name wasn’t automatically registered as a trade mark when they registered with the Companies Office.

“Registering your company name with the Companies Office gives you an identity, like a birth certificate, but it does not prevent somebody else trading under your name or one that is confusingly similar.

“It is important to remember that not every company trades under its company name, and that would be one of the many reasons the Companies Office doesn’t police names.”

Mr Doucas said trade mark protection however allows companies to put the ® symbol behind the name of the company, brand, slogan or other mark and it also gives them statutory protection from somebody else trading off of their good name.

“A trade mark actually protects the goodwill and value that the brand name or mark accumulates while trading successfully, and essentially creates an asset that can be bought or sold.

“In other words, it's the sum total of the hard work you have put in to the business. A trade mark also protects the consumer from cheap rip-offs.”

Mr Doucas said his advice to companies thinking of a company or brand name was to avoid names that describe the goods and services they provide.

“For example, ‘we design websites’ describes what you do and makes a good URL, but it is too generic for a trade mark.

“The name, brand or mark should be unique and could make reference to your products or services in a clever way, like Google’s misspelling of ‘googol’.

“Registering your trade mark distinguishes your brand from the competition and will also give you a fair indication of whether you are infringing somebody else’s trade mark,” he said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Balance Of Trade: NZ Posts Trade Deficit In October On Falling Dairy Exports

New Zealand’s posted its largest monthly trade deficit for October in six years, while narrowing the shortfall from September, led by a fall in dairy exports to China while all main imports into the country rose. More>>

ALSO:

Gigatown Winner: Plenty Of Positives For Dunedin

Although the city has taken the Gigatown title, along with new ultrafast 1Gbps broadband and funding for $700,000 worth of UFB-related initiatives across the community, Mr Cull says Dunedin has gained so much more through its involvement. More>>

ALSO:

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news