How do your customers recognise you? Is it by your company name? A logo? A particular combination of colours? A shape or even a smell? These are all Trade Marks, and anchor your valuable goodwill to your business..
To help your business stand out from the crowd, you need a marker that is distinctive and unique to you – you don’t want your customers going to someone else by mistake!
New Zealand does recognise rights acquired through use and reputation, but also has a system of trade mark registration.
If you are exporting, or manufacturing overseas, you also need to think about your Overseas IP.
Why Register your Trade Mark?
A trade mark registration gives you national rights that can be enforced through the Courts to stop your competitors from using branding that is confusingly similar to yours.
The benefits of trade mark registration (over relying on common law rights and the Fair Trading Act) include:
- Higher rates of settlement – avoiding Court altogether
- Less legal points to prove in Court – a cheaper and quicker process
- Rights throughout New Zealand you can license to potential franchisees
- A saleable business asset
- A “must have” for overseas jurisdictions where you sell or manufacture product