Indonesian cigarette maker wins trademark spat with Fonterra
An Indonesian cigarette manufacturer has won the right to use the "Angkor" trademark on cereals, biscuits, and confectionary, despite objections by an arm of Fonterra, NZ Milk Brands.
Fonterra owns a series of trademarks built around the "Anchor" brand and had previously won a case in the High Court at Auckland to stop Sumatra using Angkor on a range of products in New Zealand .
Sumatra applied in 2005 to use Angkor as a trademark in New Zealand on coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, artificial coffee, flavourings for beverages, cereal, non-dairy creamer, biscuits, and confectionery.
NZ Milk Brands fought the application, arguing that Anchor had been used for dairy products since 1886, but the assistant commissioner of trademarks allowed the registration of Angkor.
But the High Court rejected that registration, and Sumatra took the dispute to the Appeal Court, which today allowed use of Angkor for only a few of the product lines.
The Appeal Court said that Sumatra's coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, artificial coffee, flavourings for beverages and non-dairy creamer were similar to the goods covered by NZ Milk Brands's Anchor registration for milk and chocolate-based drinks, and the two marks could confuse consumers.
But it could use the mark on cereal, biscuits and confectionery.
"As there has been success on both sides, costs are to lie where they fall," said the judges, Justices Susan Glazebrook, Warwick Gendall, and Christopher Allan.
Last year, Sumatra sought to register cigarette trademarks, Lucky Draw and Lucky Dream, but was refused in the Appeal Court after opposition from British American tobacco, which owns the trademark Lucky Strike, and the word Luckies.
The court said that the word "lucky" followed by a single syllable word created a reasonably significant risk of confusion even though neither "draw" nor "dream" sounded like “strike”.