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Trade Marks

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

How Saunders & Co adds value

Registered trade marks have advantages over relying on reputation. They are easier to enforce, and give you rights throughout New Zealand, not just where you are currently operating.

Anyone can file a trade mark application, but not everyone will file the right trade mark, for the right goods and services, to give you the legal tool you need to keep competitors from cashing in on your goodwill.

Our full trade mark service may include:

  • Consultation to understand your business – what are you selling, and what aspects need protection
  • Trade mark identification – brands can include multiple trade marks; we will help identify the most commercially useful
  • Clearance searching – when you choose a new trade mark, identify and avoid legal problems before they arise
  • Trade mark applications – filing for protection of the right trade mark, for the right goods and/or services
  • Prosecution – not all registrations are easy; we have the experience to help your application succeed
  • Opposition – if a third party challenges your trade mark application, we know how to defend it
  • Renewals – we send out reminders when it is time to renew your trade mark registration
  • Infringement action – we can take the necessary action to ensure your rights are enforced
  • International advice and overseas registrations – we have the experience and connections to protect your rights, wherever your trade mark is used in marketing or manufacture


Virginia Nichols

Virginia Nichols

Senior Associate | Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)

T +64 3 963 1463
M +64 27 449 8893
E virginia.nichols@saunders.co.nz