For the first time in New Zealand, sounds, smells and tastes will be able to be registered and protected as trade marks by companies seeking to protect all the components of their brand’s personality.
John Hackett, intellectual property lawyer at J Park says changes to the Trade Marks Amendment Act recognise that businesses can invest huge amounts of money in research, development and promotion of brand where special feature of the brand might be sound, smell or taste.
“As an example, an American company in California making synthetic lubricants for high performance racing and recreational vehicles has registered an application for trade mark protection on cherry, strawberry and grape scented oils.”
Tastes can also be distinctive as in the case with the jaffa taste, the Juicy Fruit chewing gum or the taste of Coca-Cola.
Collective trade can also be registered, providing protection for groups such as “The Master Plumbers Association” or “Federated Farmers”.
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