It is believed that the name of the company and its products and services are among its most valuable assets. However, it is noted that companies invest resources in creating their brands (logo, or slogans), but often do not pay enough attention to fully protecting this intangible asset.
Protecting it is quite simple - by registering a trademark in Europe or in the region where you plan to start a business, for example, in New Zealand. Meanwhile, many business founders have other priorities, and then the issue of registering intellectual property fades into the background and is often forgotten. This blog post is dedicated to convincing you to keep the issue of TM registration in New Zealand in focus.
First of all, let's look at the common reasons why companies do not register a TM in New Zealand:
- high cost of the New Zealand registration of TM;
- long terms for obtaining a certificate of registration of TM in New Zealand;
- lack of understanding of the benefits of registration.
What if not registering a TM?
Even if your brand is not registered in NZ, it still has the right to protection in the country from the moment the mark was first used on the market. This right only increases the longer and more extensively the brand is used.
Meanwhile, such brand rights are geographically limited to the area where the brand owner uses his trademark, and also have a rather narrow range of benefits. Regulating unregistered brands in New Zealand is subject to the Fair Trade Act, but TM dispute resolution is extremely complex and costly. How can you be 100% sure that no one will infringe on your brand rights? Even multi-billion dollar multinational corporations cannot be sure of this.
Why is it still worth registering a TM in New Zealand
If the brand owner decided to register a trademark in New Zealand, his business receives significant commercial and legal advantages:
- Registered TMs have exclusive rights throughout the country;
- The long-term benefits of obtaining a TM registration in New Zealand can significantly outweigh the cost of filing an application, given that registration gives the owner a legal exclusive right for 10 years;
- Registration provides clear evidence of ownership and scope of those rights, which allows the owner to sue for infringement of the registered brand in New Zealand when another party tries to imitate your brand for similar products;
- A prospective applicant who is considering registering a new brand in New Zealand may search the local IP Registry to:
- determine whether its mark is identical with the one that already has registration in the NZ;
- assess the legal risk associated with the use or filing of an application for registration of this TM.
- If the registration of a TM in New Zealand is renewed, it can remain in the IP registry and grant owners potentially perpetual exclusive rights.
- Unregistered TMs retain their rights only if they maintain a sufficiently high reputation and recognition in the market.
Finally, a registered TM is a business asset that can be sold, licensed and used as collateral (to obtain a loan). In this regard, registered rights to TM are inherently more valuable than unregistered TM! What else, if not this argument, may convince you to register a brand in New Zealand?
Please contact IQ Decision UK team if you need to:
- get personal legal advice onTM regulation in New Zealand;
- register a TM in New Zealand;
- successfully resolve a trademark dispute in New Zealand.
Our experienced professionals will answer all your questions and provide the full range of legal services required to conduct business in New Zealand.