No clear advantage in trademark dispute

Advantage Computers and Advantage Group had their two days in court in Wellington this week, and a bench of three Appeal Court judges have reserved their decision.

Advantage Computers and Advantage Group had their two days in court in Wellington this week, and a bench of three Appeal Court judges have reserved their decision.

Advantage Group is appealing a judgement against it earlier this year in a trademark dispute. It was ordered to stop trading using the name Advantage in areas related to two trademarks held by Palmerston North PC assembler and IT services firm Advantage Computers. But the execution of the order was stayed pending the appeal, which questions the original judge’s interpretation of the Trademarks Act.

Advantage Group is best known for its eftpos terminal business, but has latterly broadened into other areas of computing which bring it into more direct competition with Advantage Computers.

If the eventual finding goes against it, the Advantage Group will not have to change its name, but merely remove the trademark Advantage on certain of its products.

The judgement is expected to emerge within two or three months, says Advantage Computers’ managing director Mark Ward.

“But that’s just going on general experience. We may not get a judgement until after Christmas.”

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