What can you do if another business is using your brand name?
If you’ve already protected your business name by registering it as a trade mark, your lawyer will generally start by sending the other business a ‘cease and desist’ letter. If they don’t stop using your name after this, you will be able to take them to court to enforce your legal rights to the trade mark.
If you haven’t registered your business name as a trade mark, you can choose to bring a claim against the other business under the Fair Trading Act 1986. However, you will need to prove that your business has an established reputation in the location where the other business is operating. You will also need to prove that the other party is misleading the public into believing that their business is associated with yours. This type of claim is typically difficult and costly.
What if your business is a company and you’ve registered your company name with the NZ Companies Office? Unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent other businesses from trading under the same name – it simply means that no other business can register as a company with the same company name.
Note: This post is brief and general in nature. You should not treat it as legal advice and should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this post. Armstrong Murray accepts no liability for losses suffered by any person or organisation who may rely directly or indirectly on this post.