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5 Trade Mark Tips for Food and Beverage Brands in New Zealand

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Establishing and protecting your brand is critical for businesses operating in New Zealand’s food and beverage industry. One of the ways that you can do this is to register a trade mark for your business. This article will take you through five top trade mark tips for New Zealand’s food and beverage businesses. 

1. Know the Significance of Trade Marks in the Industry 

Trade marks act as a way to differentiate your brand in a market saturated with offerings. A distinctive trade mark is a great way to communicate the nature of your product to potential consumers. Over time, it also acts as a way to garner customer loyalty. This is because a recognisable trade mark helps guide consumers to goods that they know and trust and influences their purchasing decisions.

Further, the value of a trade mark will increase as food and beverage brands establish themselves in the market. This makes it all the more important to secure your trade mark rights as early as possible through registering your marks with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). 

2. Understand the Relevant Trade Mark Classes 

Trade mark classification plays an essential role in the registration process. The trade mark classes that you choose will dictate the scope of your mark’s protection. Some of the classes of goods that may be relevant for your food and beverage business are outlined below:

  • Class 29: This class encompasses a diverse range of food products, including meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. It also includes oils, fats and processed fruits and vegetables.
  • Class 30: Staple food goods fall under this class. It includes coffee, tea, sugar, rice and flour.
  • Class 32: Move beverages are classified under Class 32. This includes beers, mineral and aerated waters and juices.
  • Class 33: This class is specifically designated for alcoholic beverages, including wines, spirits and liqueurs.

On the other hand, several service classes may be relevant, depending on the nature of their business operations and the services they provide. Some of the service classes that are commonly associated with the food and beverage industry include:

  • Class 35: This class covers services related to advertising, marketing and promotion of goods and services. This will include retail and wholesale services for food and beverages, market research and consulting for and beverage sector companies.
  • Class 39: This class covers transport and storage services, which will be relevant for those working in the warehousing, storage or transportation of food or beverage goods.
  • Class 43: This class covers services related to the provision of food and drink, including restaurants, cafes and catering services.

You must strategically select the appropriate classes to ensure complete coverage of your goods or services. 

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3. Select Your Marks Carefully 

You must select trade marks that are both memorable and reflective of your brand’s identity. This means that you must avoid generic or descriptive terms that do not differentiate your goods from others in the market. This will also help minimise challenges in the registration process, which requires your mark to be distinctive. 

It is also important to register the most suitable elements of your brand. For example, you may want to consider registering trade marks for your packaging or labels in addition to your business’ name and logo. 

4. Conduct Comprehensive Trade Mark Searches 

You must conduct a thorough search before initiating the trade mark registration process. This is essential for ensuring your mark is available and suitable for registration. A comprehensive trade mark search involves evaluating the chances of your mark being confused with existing trade marks. You should focus specifically on other marks in the same class or related industries.

It is recommended that you use the services of an experienced trade mark lawyer to help you with this process. They will have the ability to conduct thorough searches across a range of databases and will know what to look for to identify potential conflicts.

5. Use Your Marks

While it might seem obvious, you must be sure to use your trade marks once you have registered them. This includes using them for marketing campaigns, packaging and other promotional materials. This will help build awareness around your brand and foster customer loyalty. 

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Trade Mark Essentials in New Zealand

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Key Takeaways

Registering trade marks is a great way to establish and protect the brand of your food and beverage industry in New Zealand. Some top tips for doing so include:

  • knowing the significance of trade marks in the Industry;
  • understanding the relevant trade mark classes;
  • selecting your marks carefully;
  • conducting comprehensive trade mark classes; and
  • using your marks.

If you need help registering a trade mark, contact our experienced trade mark as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page.  

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Emily Young

Emily Young

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