トレードマーク デザインの知的財産権(IP)は商標とは異なります。トレードマークは、独自の製品やサービスを識別する方法です。これは、製品やサービスと競合他社に属する、そして、製品やサービスを区別するブランド保護の一形態です。当社の経験豊富なIP弁護士は、登録を支援し、クライアントの商標を保護します。

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知的財産

飲食配達業と商標侵害

オーストラリアでは、かつての食品配達サービスは、比較的不人気なビジネスでした。しかし、今日では、食品配達事業が活況を呈し、配達自転車や車が路上で見られるのが一般的です。とりわけ、Deliveroo、Foodora、UberEatsなどは、オーストラリアで活況を呈する食品配達事業をリードする企業です。彼らは、顧客がウェブサイトやモバイルアプリを介して食べ物を注文すると、配達員が指定された場所から食べ物を拾って配達する方法でサービスを提供しています。これらの取引を通じて、配送サービス会社はレストランとの契約で固定料金を、そして、配達員は配達料金を得るような仕組みです。 競争の激しいこの飲食配達業市場状況ではより多くのレストランを持つことが食品配達サービスの成功の鍵となります。そんな中、自社の益を目的とする事で法的措置に自分自身をさらしている企業もあります。例えば、シカゴ・トリビューン紙に、食品配達会社DoorDashに対して米国のBurger Anticsが起こした訴訟を報道が載ったことが有ります。Burger Anticsの主張によれば、DoorDashが事前の合意、契約もなしにBurger Anticsのロゴとメニューを無断で自社のサイトに乗せ、Burger Antisの配達サービスが利用できるかのような印象を与えていました。Burger Anticsはこの事実をお客さんから冷たい飲食が配達されたとの苦情提起で分かるようになりました。  Doordashは米国で600社以上の飲食店との契約の基、配達員を使い飲食配達業を営んでいる会社で上記のケースは単純な配達遅れによる冷たい飲食配達からなる問題ではなく会社の構造的問題の為に起こったものだったものです。DoorDashの不十分な販売戦略のために、彼らは自社のウェブサイトに契約もない会社のメニューを勝手に載せたり苦情の申し込みがあれば断りもなく勝手にサイトから降ろしたりする慣行の問題で有りました。又、 2015年11月、カリフォルニア州のフランチャイズ、In-N-Outは商標権侵害でDoorDashに対して訴訟を起こした事例も有り、事件は解決されたにもかかわらず、DoorDashはそのケースのために多額の費用を費やしたと推測されます。  オーストラリアで同様のことが起こることも十分予想されます。このような場合には、商標、著作権、消費者法の侵害の可能性に伴う大きな損害に繋がるか検討する必要があると思います。レストランを経営する人は、オーストラリアの食品配達サービス会社がロゴやメニューを勝手に使用しているかどうかを確認し自社の評判と将来を保つ為注意深く調査することをお勧めします。


知的財産

Who has right to give names?

A final uphill path at the corner of the road leading from Seodaemun District in Seoul to Ujeongbu is called Miari Hill. As a result of the Korean war, there were many killed in battle between the South Korean and the North Korean national armed forces at that time and thereby the entire hill was covered with blood, which became the background story of a song called “Heartbreaking Miari Hill”.   In the past, the Miari Hill could be easily seen through the signboards of the Astrologer and Psychics at the both sides of the road when walking along the Dongsomun Road from the entrance of the Sungshin Women’s University. Usually, there were many fortune telling houses which used Taro-readings, the Five Elements or even supernatural powers to tell fortunes and destiny of human-beings, and one of them was a shop which helped with naming of a newborn baby or a company to flourish.   Although the times have changed and many fortune telling houses at the Miari Hill have consigned to memory thereby, many people still use the naming services online. Published in 1991 by the writer, WooRam Lee, the book titled “Who has a right to give names?” introduces that one’s destiny is shaped according to a high-level of sound energy of the names we commonly call each other. Although it is hard to ascertain whether proven scientifically, naming a person’s name, which is to be used in the rest of one’s life, is inconsequential in all ages.   Even for start-up businessmen or those who launch their new goods or services in the market for the first time, naming can be concerning. In business world, a name becomes a front, a name card, an advertisement and  a product cover for a company. Also, it becomes a first sound to be heard when it becomes the face of a company and someone calls up.  If the company’s name is unremarkable, it would hard for it to differentiate itself from the other competitors in the same industry. Especially, it is hard to remember when it is hard to pronounce. A name which is visible, easy to pronounce as well as related to goods or service of a company would be the best. In addition, it would be even better if the name pertains the business founder’s vision and values.   Although it is up to individuals to choose any visually aesthetic logo or a general noun or combine with the name of a local district, it is to be noted that there are legal duty and obligations when using a name for a commercial purpose.  Many people are often confused with the conceptual differences among a company name, a business name, and a trade mark. All of these have legally different meanings and the governing laws are also all varying. For instance, according to the Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth), any entity doing business without registering its business name in Australia would be fined up to maximum $ 3300. However, there would be an exception to that if the entity is  a sole trader using his own name or an incorporated body using its company name. One thing to note is that there would be no automatic legal right as to the business name even if registered. That is, it would be difficult for a company to prevent the other competitors from using the same or similar to its registered business name. Thus, in order to prevent this, a company should register its business name as a trade mark.  Conversely, if another competitor providing the same types of goods and service as the company has already registered the company’s business name as its trademark, the company could be sued for trade infringement according to the Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) when continuing to use the business name. Also, it can be punished in public interest under the Australian Consumer Law when fabricating  a county of origin in its label, misrepresenting the source of goods, misleading or deceiving its consumers.  There have been some clients who initially thought there would be no problems as long as they register their business names at the ASIC but ended up coming for help when receiving warning letters one day after operating their business over time. They must be distressed for having to change their business names overnight after using them for a few months or even years. Although it is important for a company to use a nice-looking business name, it is highly recommended for the company to ensure not to be involved in any legal conflicts by undertaking a thorough preliminary investigation and registering its business name as a trade mark if possible.