If you have a registered trademark, your brand is protected from competitors using a similar name or logo to you, right?

Let’s take the recent Court decision involving the company that owns the trademark for Havaianas jandals.  The company recently took another company that was seeking to trademark the Cubanas brand to Court because it thought the brand Cubanas was too similar to the Havaianas brand.  This was because of the common use of the last four letters “anas”, the tropical theme and the use of similar font in the logo of both brands.

The High Court found that Cubanas was not at fault for the following reasons:

  1. Although there are similarities between the two brands, the look and sounds of the two marks … are sufficiently distinct and therefore will not cause confusion to consumers.
  2. It is unlikely that consumers would think that there is a connection between to the two brands.
  3. The Cubanas brand is unlikely to dilute or blur the distinctiveness of the Havaianas brand.
  4. The differences in the two brands will enable Havaianas to preserve its identity.

This case shows that the threshold for preventing another trademark from being registered is high. If you have a question about registering a trademark, or about a competitor’s trademark that infringes on your brand, feel free to give us a call on (04) 473 6850.