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IKEA Loses Trade Mark

Posted by Elizabeth Gore-Jones on 9 March 2016

Businesses constantly under estimate the value of the name and logo and don't take the relatively inexpensive steps to protect that important intellectual property.

Sometimes, even global businesses can get it wrong.  Whilst IKEA had registered its trade mark in Indonesia it seems it did not comply with the rules in that region to maintain the trade mark.

IKEA didn't use the trade mark for commercial purposes for a period of 3 or more years consecutive years.  It is a requirement in Indonesia that you actually use the trade mark in accordance with the requirements of the jurisdiction.

As a result, a local trader used an acronym (which may have been a little contrived....) and was successful in maintaining the registration of its trade mark "IKEA".

Take home lessons:

1. even big business can get it wrong;

2. register your trade marks;

3. be aware of and comply with the trade mark laws of that region

You don't need overseas lawyers to register a trade mark in another country.  You can engage Australian lawyers to attend to that registration through WIPO which allows for an simpler registration process for trade marks in those countries who are members of the Madrid System.

Disclaimer: you should seek legal advice for your particular circumstances.  This article should not be relied upon as legal advice.  The Franchise & Business Lawyers disclaims any liability for loss, cost or damage suffered as a result of relying upon this article.

Author: Elizabeth Gore-Jones
About: Elizabeth specialises in franchising law. She lectures at Bond University PLA in franchising, she sits on the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee, she is a past member of the Women in Franchising committee and a past member of the Franchise Council of Australia.
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