What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name?

Everything, if your goal is to build on your business’s brand name and goodwill. Careful selection of an identifiable and distinguishable brand name, that can be continued to be used over time, is an important part of building your business.  Some research and planning needs to be put into place when going through this process.  It is important that when doing so you not only avoid stepping on anyone else’s toes, but you also are able to secure your own rights over your brand name and goodwill. One of the ways that your brand name and goodwill can be secured is through trade mark registration. Generally trade mark registration gives you exclusive use of the registered mark within Australia over the classes of goods or services that the trade mark has been registered in.

Last year’s conflict between Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Arnotts is a good example of what not to do. Krispy Kreme created two new doughnuts meant to appeal to the Australian public and heavily marketed these doughnuts – a chocolate and marshmallow doughnut called “Rocky Road” and a pink glazed doughnut with coconut sprinkles called “Iced Dough-Vo”. Advertising and marketing for the new doughnuts went out across the country, but within a week they were pulled back after Arnotts threatened legal action. This was because Arnotts was the registered trade mark owner of “Iced Vo-Vo”, a pink frosted doughnut with coconut sprinkles.

No doubt this cost Krispy Kreme a tidy sum of money. As a small business owner, you may not be able to afford making such a mistake – so look before you leap and plan ahead when it comes to your branding!