Trademarks help businesses guard against ‘copycats’, one lawyer has explained.

Simon Rowell, partner at James & Wells, told the NZ Herald that over the lifetime of a company, the owners must protect all trademarks as competitors may seek to benefit from the qualities of its name.

He explained that a trademark is “a badge of origin”, indicating goods or services come from a particular supplier.

“A registered trademark is a formal piece of personal property, like any other asset, and is obtained by applying to the Intellectual Property Office for registration,” Mr. Rowell stated.

He noted that company name registration only prevents another company from adopting that name or a similar one.

“It does not stop another business from adopting your company name, or part of it, as a brand for that business’ own product or service,” Mr. Rowell added.

He said trademark registration gives a business the exclusive right to use the mark in relation to the goods or services it covers.

All trademark-based domain name disputes must be settled under the terms of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

Guard against ‘copycats’ using business trademarks
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