An insurance firm has lost a lengthy trademark battle to associate the word ‘my’ with a number of industry terms.
According to Business Day, New Zealand-registered AMI Insurance wished to obtain a trademark for ‘my insurance’, ‘my home insurance’, ‘my house insurance’ and several other similar phrases.
The Intellectual Property Office originally approved the application in 2010, however a number of AMI’s rivals joined forces to appeal the decision.
AA Insurance, IAG New Zealand, Tower Insurance and Vero Insurance told the High Court that the terms were generic to the industry and should be available to all users.
The plaintiffs warned that the marks were not distinctive enough and could ultimately result in customer confusion.
Justice Joe Williams allowed the appeal, much to the disappointment of AMI Insurance but to the relief of the wider insurance industry in New Zealand.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the possibilities for registrants are “almost limitless”.
Trademarks may be made up of one, or a combination of words, letters, and numerals, the body explained.