Business names brands and logos are important and business owners should consider doing what they can to protect them.
Registering a trade mark usually gives the owner the sole right in the jurisdiction to use the mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered. This is a powerful position to be in. All is not lost if a trade mark is not registered but trade mark registration can be more powerful and simpler than relying on some other “protections”.
- Registering a company won’t adequately protect a name.
- There is no register of business names in New Zealand but if there were and if it were similar to the system in AUS, it wouldn’t adequately protect a name.
- Copyright can offer some protection for logos/graphics but trade mark registration can often be more powerful and sometimes, relying on a registered trade mark can be simpler.
- The provisions of the Fair Trading Act in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct in trade can be useful, but relying on a registered trade mark can often be simpler.
- The common law tort of passing off can be useful but relying on a registered trade mark would usually be simpler.