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While many local businesses concentrate on protecting their brand or slogan, local bottling company Ascot Investments trading as PUREWATER has achieved a rather unique milestone by registering the shape of its “PUREWATER” bottle as a trademark.
The initial application filed over two years ago, underwent rigorous examination by the examiners at the PNG Registry of Trade Marks and unsurprisingly there were objections to its distinctiveness. The applicant with the assistance of local intellectual property firm Vai IP persevered and earlier this month the certificate of registration was finally issued by the Registrar.
It is a rare and significant achievement considering many local companies only focus on registering their brand or slogan. The registration of the shape of the PUREWATER bottle highlights a much broader definition.
Registering the shape of a bottle is not new overseas as the popular Coca Cola bottle, the Kikoman bottle have been registered as trademarks. A significant number of unique Wine bottles have also been registered as trademarks globally.
Principal of Vai IP, Mea Vai, said that many local businesses do not consider registering the shape of a bottle or generally a product shape as they’re confined to the traditional meaning of a trademark.
“Their understanding is limited to the traditionally meaning of a trademark which is a brand, logo or slogan. But as markets and products develop, competition becomes fierce and its important to conduct a thorough review of your business assets to find out what tangible and intangible assets the business has”.
Vai went further to highlight an important aspect of identifying intangible assets.
“A trademark sends a message to the customer. PUREWATER has taken a rather unique step by identifying its IP both internally and also from their customers point of view. Sometimes customers aren’t persuaded just by the brand. The shape of the packaging could play a significant factor in enticing the customer to buy and obviously PUREWATER identified it and took the most important step in registering the shape”.