Did you know you can get Intellectual Property
protection for how your food or beverage product actually looks
– a key element in its commercial success.
If your product is on the supermarket shelf, or about to be,
it's not rocket science to realise that its success relies on
customers choosing your product over the competitions. Brand
recognition and trust are of the utmost importance.
Most food and beverage companies appreciate the significance of
trade mark registrations to protect their cherished brand, but
that's not all there is to it.
Often, a product's visual appearance is what first triggers
with the customer, not the actual branding or name. This is
especially true where language barriers exist, such as in Asian
Food and beverage companies often don't realise that their
product's unique look can be protected using design
registrations - so we're here to change that.
A design registration can be for a new 3-D shape, such as a new
bottle design, or for a new 2-D pattern, such as artwork on a box.
When you think of products, what is it that makes them visually
stand out to you?
Design protection for a product or packaging should always be
considered, particularly if you want:
to prevent or deter your competitors from using similar design
to have some registered IP1 rights when there is no
ability or need for patenting
to launch a product quickly with IP protection in place
to have cost effective overseas IP protection in your key
to have intangible assets (like trade mark rights) that can be
sold or licensed, and/or
to promote your company as being innovative.
The important thing to remember is that, in most countries,
validity2 of a design registration relies on it being
novel3, so you can't launch a product and hope it
gets design registration later.
1Refers to the ownership of an intangible
thing - the innovative idea behind a new technology, product,
process, design or plant variety, and other intangibles such as
trade secrets, goodwill and reputation, and trade marks. Although
intangible, the law recognises intellectual property as a form of
property which can be sold, licensed, damaged or
trespassed upon. Intellectual property encompasses
patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
2A patent is valid if it is legally
enforceable. This means that it must fulfil the criteria of
patentability and not be able to be invalidated by a
patent revocation proceeding. It is possible that a
granted patent may not be valid, or at least its validity
could be questionable. Ultimately, only the Courts can judge the
validity of a granted patent.
3One of the requirements for
patentability and the first part of the test for
inventive step. In patent law "novel" simply
means new or not previously known. New Zealand currently has a
"local novelty" requirement for patentability.
This means that the subject invention will not be novel
(and therefore will not be patentable) if it was known or used in
New Zealand before the date on which the application for a
patent was filed. There is a proposal to amend our
legislation in late 2010 to move to an "absolute novelty"
standard. This means that the subject matter must not be known or
used anywhere in the world before the date of application in New
Zealand. If the subject matter is known or used before the date of
application, this is known as
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
James & Wells Intellectual Property, three time winner
of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Laws Award and first IP
firm in the world to achieve CEMARS® certification.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion recently issued an office memorandum pursuant to receiving representations from various stakeholders for guidance with respect to the applicability of the provisions of Section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957.
An Invention Disclosure Form is the documentation of the invention. This is a means to document particulars of your invention and submitting it to the patent attorney who is filing your patent application.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).