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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23052
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I am looking for advice to see if my new company name

Customer Question

Hi I am looking for advice to see if my new company name breaches international trade mark rights?
JA: Is the trademark federally registered?
Customer: I have a Comapny Title followed by "MONACO" I am told that in 2010 the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) granted for the government of the Principality of Monaco the word trade mark “Monaco”.Since 2012 Monaco protects its name as a brand, therefore it is not easy to use the word “Monaco” or “Monte-Carlo” in your company, brand or in your product name anymore.Generally speaking you can refer to Monaco as a location or as a country since the trade mark Act at Section 3(1) (c) prohibits the registration of marks designating geographical origin. However once you use Monaco as a company or commercial name, or as a product name you breach international trade mark rights.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: However I read that last year the EU overturned it?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This is also what happened in FEb 2015. Monaco had successfully applied for the trademark with the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2010, but the application for the trademark in the EU was refused. The government was contesting that decision, and can lodge a further appeal.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 11 months ago.

The answer is not really complicated because there are, by looking at the Companies Office website, at least 51 companies using this already. Monaco (the country) would be unable to challenge all of these here, because it would be regarded as a common name in use by many. In addition, they are unlikely to bother a new venture based in New Zealand.