Does your Maori business or organisation have a Maori design or logo as part of its branding?  What can you do if a  competitor enters the market and begins operating under a different business name but using a similar business logo that causes confusion amongst your target customers?

Unfortunately this situation is not uncommon. In our experience while many Maori businesses or organisations spend time and money developing their valuable culturally-inspired Maori branding some give little or no thought to ensuring that the brand is protected.  This can be done by registering your Maori design or logo as a trademark.

Failure to protect your Maori design or logo through registering as a trademark will mean that you don’t automatically have exclusive use of it, nor the ability to easily prevent a competitor using a very similar Maori design or logo.

There are other options to try to stop a competitor using a similar logo such as costly litigation in the courts.

The important point is that there’s no need to leave it to the courts at all when you can greatly improve the situation by registering your Maori design or logo on-line as a trademark.

Compare that to the cost of litigation and you’d be wise to get on to it today!  If your Maori business or organisation is worth running, then your Maori design or logo is worth protecting.

Kirsten Ferguson
Partner
Wellington