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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Tiwai Point (And Saying “No” In Greece)

Its hard to see how Rio Tinto’s one month delay in announcing its intentions about the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is a good sign for (a) the jobs of the workers affected or (b) for the New Zealand taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Product Prices Extend Slide To Six-Year Low

Dairy product prices continued their slide, paced by whole milk power, in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, weakening to the lowest level in six years. More>>

ALSO:

Copper Broadband: Regulator Set To Keep Chorus Pricing Largely Unchanged

The Commerce Commission looks likely to settle on a price close to its original decision on what telecommunications network operator Chorus can charge its customers, though it probably won’t backdate any update. More>>

ALSO:

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news