When is toothpaste, not toothpaste? When it's a nurdle ... (25 April 2017) (New Zealand)

Hudson Gavin Martin

The Assistant Commissioner of Trade Marks has recently held that the striped logo on the packaging below is not a representation of toothpaste. At first, this seems difficult to understand although the Assistant Commissioner has relied on expert evidence in deciding so.

The owner of the Maclean’s brand of toothpaste, Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare (UK) IP Limited, applied to register its striped logo as a trade mark in New Zealand in respect of toothpaste and a range of other oral care related goods. IPONZ initially gave notice that it intended to reject the application on the basis that the image is simply a picture of toothpaste and so could not be registered in respect of toothpaste as other brand owners should be free to use the images in their own advertising.

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