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

 

Research: ‘Ageing Well’ Science Challenge Launched

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today launched the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, confirming initial funding of $14.6 million. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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