Whirlpool’s Recipe For Success

Whirlpool Properties, Inc the company behind the well-known KITCHENAID food mixer has successfully prevented registration of the trade mark KitchenMaid.

Huilong Electrical Appliances Pty Ltd (”Huilong”) applied in 2008 to register KitchenMaid as a trade mark in Australia for goods which could broadly be described as kitchen appliances for preparing food and domestic cleaning appliances.

In Whirlpool Properties, Inc. v Huilong Electrical Appliances Pty Ltd ATMO 79 (25 August 2010), Whirlpool opposed registration of Huilong’s trade mark on the grounds that:

it had a reputation in the KITCHENAID trade mark at the date of filing of the KitchenMaid trade mark and
due to […]

September 29th, 2014|

Avoiding The Pitfalls: China

Many growing kiwi companies are looking to export or establish offices in China – with 1.3 billion people, China is a colossal target market. It is New Zealand’s second largest trading partner, representing over 9% of total exports.

Exports into the country have traditionally been agriculture and raw materials, but as economic reforms and trade agreements open up the country to international business, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) predicts big opportunities ahead for companies in a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, infrastructure and technology products, health and education.

For companies entering the Chinese market, protecting brands and intellectual […]

September 29th, 2014|

Change Of Name For One Of New Zealand’s Major Wine Brands

The importance in having a good brand strategy from the outset has been illustrated recently with Pernod Ricard (the winemaker’s parent company) announcing the change of name of MONTANA – one of New Zealand’s predominant brands – to BRANCOTT ESTATE.  This will be rolled out globally in September and October.

MONTANA wines have been experiencing a strong growth in exports to the US.  Whilst great for business, this was the catalyst behind the change.  Many North Americans associate the mark MONTANA with the state of Montana.  Consequently it would not be possible for Montana Wines to have any exclusivity over this […]

September 29th, 2014|

Searching For A Patent Is No Google Matter

To avoid a letter alleging infringement by your R&D, it pays to find out what patents already exist similar to your particular widget.

For example, an IP attorney would ask a number of questions such as what technology is already out there, and are there prior rights to that technology in regard to the products, methodology, formulations, chemical compounds, and so on.

Once we have determined that your technology is suitably unique then we need to decide if it can be protected and what breadth of protection it can have.

Most countries have what is called “absolute novelty” where any prior use or […]

September 29th, 2014|

India, Brazil Complain At WTO Over EU Drug Seizures

The current dispute between India, Brazil and the WTO is a good reminder that shipping goods through countries where patents exist can be problematic, even if the goods are manufactured and used in countries where no patent protection exists.

The issue here at hand relates to various Indian pharmaceutical manufactuers producing generic copies of patented drugs and then shipping these (via Europe) to South American countries such as Brazil.
Patent protection for the drugs is not present in India or South America, but it is present in Europe.  Since patent law allows a holder to prevent imports of infringing articles, the patent […]

September 29th, 2014|

Do Your Homework Before Filing Your First Application

A company recently asked us to review their patent filing and strategy.  They had filed their own patent application in New Zealand which had been examined and, despite responding to the examiner, they were unable to overcome the objections made.

After completing our review we were hopeful that the patent could be salvaged and still provide some protection for the product in mind.  We turned the existing filing into a provisional specification and then re-completed the application using a professionally written patent specification.

Unfortunately, we were unable to recover an earlier mistake made by the company before they sought our help, which […]

September 29th, 2014|

Check All Goods And Services When Deciding On Trade Mark Registration

Filing trade marks are a little like baking a meringue. The recipe may seem easy to follow, but if you make even a small mistake, you might not get the results you had hoped for.

Here’s a case in point.  The owners of a café that we often frequent filed their own trade mark application which successfully proceeded to registration. One day over coffee the owner asked us to look up this café’s trade mark registration and offer our opinion. On review, while they did indeed have a trade mark registration, we were surprised to see that it only protected one food […]

September 29th, 2014|

CreateIP Says Pendulum Swung Against US Patent Applicants

Press release, CreateIP, Christchurch, 8 March 2010: According to Robert Snoep, founder of a new Christchurch intellectual property consultancy CreateIP, the US patent system is currently hostile to US patent applicants.

He says, “What was once a relatively predictable process that rewarded good applications, US patent acceptance rates have now almost halved the levels they used to be. Legitimate patent applications are being rejected by examiners who have been emboldened by a US supreme court decision ruling to get tough on the inventiveness of patent claims.  The measure of patent quality now seems to be correlated in an examiners mind with low […]

September 29th, 2014|

Preventing Your Competition From Circumventing A Patent

The patent journey can in rare cases only take a few months but normally takes years and involves multiple stages from the initial filing and examination process, to the approval, grant and eventual lapse of the patent.

At the beginning, once your attorney agrees that your idea is patentable, a patent specification will need to be created around your idea that can be filed in a patent office. This can take up to two to four weeks to turn around, and between 8 to 30 hours of your attorney’s time depending on the complexity and novelty of the idea.

Filing a patent […]

September 29th, 2014|