In this September Newsletter issue:
- Zone Nominated for Law Awards
- Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards
- Perils of Choosing a Name
- Top Tip: Protecting your Name
- Labour Weekend – Monday 22 October 2018
Zone Nominated for Law Awards
Zone are proud to be finalists once again in the New Zealand Law Awards in the category of Intellectual Property Specialist Law Firm of the Year 2018. This is fourth year in a row where we have made the finals. The winners will be announced on 15 November 2018. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and all those who nominated us for this award.
Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards
Zone are proud sponsors of the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards for the fourth year in a row.
Congratulations to all the finalists and especially to George Mander who won the premier award!
Perils of Choosing a Name
A recent news article highlights the importance of research before you choose a name for your new business, service or product.
A new café in north Auckland who had called itself “Hummingbird Café” was asked to rebrand after it was discovered by the owner of the HUMMINGBIRD trade mark, Hummingbird Coffee Limited.
Hummingbird Coffee owns several trade marks for the word HUMMINGBIRD. As the owner of a trade mark registration, Hummingbird Coffee is the only company in New Zealand allowed to use that name on a café. The Auckland café has since changed its name.
Choosing a name or brand is a big undertaking for a small business and has lots of flow on effects on new designs and logos, marketing material, signage, printed material and an online presence as well. Therefore, a change of name could cost thousands of dollars.
A simple trade mark search before deciding on the name could have saved the Auckland café some money and a big headache.
Zone can undertake trade mark searches to determine if your preferred name is free for you to use. Contact us today to find out more.
Top Tip: Protecting your Name
The Hummingbird story is a good illustration of the flip side of choosing a name – once you have chosen a name, being proactive, registering your brand, and protecting it.
A trade mark is a personal property right – which means it is your responsibility to take action to protect it. Even if you have a trade mark registration, no one is going to do anything if someone copies your brand or uses a similar name, except you. By being proactive, Hummingbird Coffee found out about the café and took action.
Having a trade mark registration gives you options should someone start using your name. But you need to know what is out there. Once you have a trade mark registration it is a good idea to regularly monitor the market to see if your brand is being used by anyone else as Hummingbird Coffee clearly did. Set up some Google alerts, or a regular reminder to do some internet searches.
If you think someone is infringing on your trade mark rights, you should contact Zone as soon as you can.
Privacy law in New Zealand reflects the understanding that people need to be able to protect information relating to them. The Government is currently in the process of making changes to New Zealand’s Privacy Act, which include stronger powers for the Privacy Commissioner, mandatory reporting of privacy breaches, some new offences and increased fines.
There is also a global focus on privacy and the use of people’s information, with the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force earlier this year. Though the GDPR is a European regulation, it can have some important implications for businesses in New Zealand. The recent focus on breaches of privacy including scams and misuse of information means now is a good time to think about how your business protects information and complies with privacy law. Contact us if you would like to know more about your obligations under the Privacy Act in New Zealand and how the GDPR could affect your business.
Labour Weekend – Monday 22 October 2018
Zone will be closed for business on Labour Day, Monday 22 October 2018.
Our websites and online platform will still be available. We will be open for normal business hours from Tuesday 23 October 2018.
The Intellectual Property Office will also be closed on Monday 22 October 2018.
Applications and documents submitted on this date will have the following working day as their filing date. If the deadline for filing an application or document falls on this date, then the application or document will be filed the following day.