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How New Zealand’s FernMark licence is helping Kiwi businesses to build brands and fight counterfeiters
In the latest issue of World Trademark Review, we explore how the FernMark collective mark licensing programme is helping New Zealand businesses (like start-up tea producer Zealong) to expand and protect their brands overseas. Selling tea to China which alone produces one-third of the world’s supply may sound like a Sisyphean task, but it is one that New Zealand start-up Zealong has taken up with aplomb.
Allegations that McDonald’s restaurants have been charging customers in some of New Zealand’s poorest areas more than those in wealthier districts have highlighted the challenge facing franchisors when trying to control brand messaging.
Customs authorities in New Zealand have seized several thousand jars of Marmite originating from the United Kingdom. The consignment of the yeast-derived edible paste, which is produced by Unilever and marketed in the United Kingdom and much of the rest of the world under the name Marmite, allegedly infringes upon the trademarks of New Zealand manufacturer Sanitarium, which produces a similar spread also called Marmite. So what is a brand to do when seeking to expand into jurisdictions where a trademark has already been laid claim to for the same goods and services?
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