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Trade Marks Bill stupid

Trade Marks Bill stupid

National’s Commerce spokesman, Tony Ryall, says it’s ridiculous that proposed changes to New Zealand’s trade mark laws are already forcing companies to police the use of their company name.

“Labour’s Bill means a trade mark registration can be removed or cancelled if the trade mark becomes the common-use name for a product. This is causing cost and confusion,” says Mr Ryall.

“For example, because New Zealanders generally refer to adhesive tape as ‘sellotape’, the company Sellotape has launched a lengthy education campaign to stop people using its name to describe adhesive tape.

“I’ve been advised that Sellotape’s lawyers search the Internet for misuse of the trade mark “Sellotape”. If a school, for example, innocently posts a notice on its website telling staff to contact the office if they run out of ‘sellotape’, the company’s lawyers contact the school and ask it to use another name.

“Sellotape has been forced to take this ridiculous and costly action because of this Bill. It needs to build up a file so it can defend itself against any application to revoke its trade mark.

“Others names that could be affected include Xerox, Swandri, Air Points, Jandals and EFTPOS.

“The Government must listen to these companies and stop trifling with their trade marks. It’s an embarrassment,” says Mr Ryall.

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