IP office introduces tool to check trade mark image, logo, word
A tool to identify in one click whether or not a trade mark image, logo or word is unique has been made available by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).
IPONZ has launched the new tool on their website www.iponz.govt.nz where visitors can find out if a brand name, logo or even a hand-drawn scrawl of a logo is already on New Zealand’s trade mark register or looks similar to one.
Within seconds of clicking, the tool can show users information about the next steps and also includes simple descriptions of essential intellectual property ideas.
“This can provide amazing opportunities and advantages, especially for smaller businesses or people who are starting out with an idea,” said Rebecca James, IPONZ Trade Marks manager.
“With Trade Mark Check you can find out instantly if somebody else has already applied to register the trade mark, and potentially save thousands of dollars in branding costs,” James said.
According to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, IPONZ has estimated there are approximately 10,000 new businesses each year that don’t register their intellectual property.
“Trade Mark Check stops the guessing,” IPONZ said. “It lets you know, straight away, if there might be a problem in registering a trade mark for a name or logo for a business, service or product.”
IPONZ said the Trade Mark Check is its most recent initiative to encourage people who are new to intellectual property to get involved.
“The good thing about Trade Mark Check is that anyone can use it – for free,” James said. “IPONZ has launched it as a beta version and wants to know what everyone thinks of it. We will be taking this feedback on board, updating and improving the tool to make sure we’ve got the best possible product that anyone can use, and that best works for them.”