Publisher loses key court battle with Trade Me

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NZME has lost its court battle with Trade Me over the media giant’s attempt to register three trade marks that contain the word ‘me’, according to an NBR report out today.

The legal battle over Property Me, Shop Me and Drive Me started in the Intellectual Property Office after NZME applied for them in 2014.

NZME, which owns the New Zealand Herald, GrabOne and radio stations like Newstalk ZB, rebranded from APN in September 2014, under the guidance of chief executive Jane Hastings.

“It has successfully applied for numerous ‘Me’ trade marks since, including InformMe, RockMe and BiteMe, according to the IPONZ website,” writes NBR’s Campbell Gibson.

NZME wanted to use Property Me, Shop Me and Drive Me for auctioneering and publishing services, overlapping with the services specified for Trade Me’s trade mark.

NZME admitted Trade Me was in the business of “facilitating and assisting in the sale and trade of goods and services for others” but denied it was all-encompassing.

However, the auction website’s name looked and sounded too similar to the three trade marks, ruled assistant commissioner of trade marks Natasha Alley.

  • Read the full report on the NBR paysite (complimentary solo freebies may be available) here

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