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

 

NZ's Space Programme: Rocket Lab Makes It To Space (But Not Orbit)

Electron lifted-off at 16:20 NZST from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. It was the first orbital-class rocket launched from from a private launch site in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Budget: Irrigate (Good Times, Come On!)

Additional grant funding of $26.7 million over the next three years plus a capital boost of $63 million towards irrigation investments in Budget 2017 will deliver economic and environmental benefits through better use of water... More>>

ALSO:

Silver Fern Farms: Proposal To Close Fairton Sheepmeat Plant

Silver Fern Farms has advised its people of the proposal to permanently close the site, and has discussed potential transfer options to its other sites in the region as part of the consultation process...
More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Myrtle Rust Appears In Taranaki

The nursery in Waitara (just north of New Plymouth) reported suspected myrtle rust symptoms on young plants to the Ministry’s 0800 number yesterday (Tuesday). More>>

ALSO: