7 Jan 2014

NZ firm fights to keep trade name

10:20 am on 7 January 2014

A Wellington woman is vowing to fight to protect her trademark against a Dutch company with the same name.

Gaylene Hosking registered her public relations company, TomTom, with New Zealand's Intellectual Property Office in 1998, but 10 years later the office approved an application from a Dutch GPS company to operate in New Zealand under the same name.

The application was withdrawn in 2011 after the office found the name confused consumers, but the company immediately refiled, this time successfully.

Ms Hosking says the Dutch company has refused to discuss the issue, which is costing her a fortune in legal fees, but she believes it wants to drive her out of business.

"I am the rightful owner of this (intellectual property), I was the first to market and it's rightfully mine. I shouldn't be fighting this battle."

The Dutch navigation company told Radio New Zealand it was aware of the opposition by Ms Hosking to TomTom registering its trademarks but did not feel it was appropriate to comment while formal proceedings are ongoing.