The title for this story on the Smart company website might imply that a big company has abused the intellectual property system. See: Spanish retail giant Zara forces Canberra small business into name change.
The story shows, however, that the multinational acted within its rights and apparently in a consultative manner.
For the small business owner in this instance, there are costs, registering a new name, changing stock, replacing the website, as well as loss of reputation and market recognition (although a television article about the matter may have lessened the adverse consequences). The fact is that the costs could have been avoided if the right steps had been taken at the beginning.
For business owners, small or large, the lesson is clear. Secure your trade mark early – preferably before you start a new venture – to ensure that you have the ability to get on with your business without having others their rights as trademark owners against you.
For advice and help, contact Croft IP today.