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She’s been at the forefront of fighting for the intellectual property rights of SME owners in the country. She still does. But today, Annette Sete’s widely popular brand Lavagirl is now a registered trade mark in Papua New Guinea – a milestone she should be proud of and one other SMEs should take note of.
Small and Medium size PNG enterprises continue to face intellectual property rights issues or more specifically the theft of these rights often by much larger and cashed-up enterprises. More often than not, little or nothing is done about it and the reasons vary from business to business. But some of the most common reasons evident in SMEs has been the obvious lack of money to fight the battle, the lack of time to address such issues and more importantly, the lack of awareness and knowledge about their intellectual property rights.
Annette Sete has found out the hard way with one of her matters before the courts. But that hasn’t stopped her in trying to be more proactive in the way she does business and how she protects her most important intangible business assets – intellectual property.
The “Lavagirl” brand was filed for protection last November for goods covering “Laplaps, Garments and Clothing“. The process has taken just over six months to finally have her catchy brand trademarked by the PNG Intellectual Property Office.
By having the “Lavagirl” registered, she now has exclusive rights to the use of the brand and such rights extend to taking action against those who use and identical or similar brand without her consent.
Many SME’s have often fell short of taking legal action or at the very least addressing infringement issues because of the lack of any solid legal protection such as a registered trademark.
As a registered trademark, “Lavagirl” has a registration duration of 10 years and it is certainly an investment that is highly valuable especially in an ever growing competitive fashion market where designers are always on the look-out for new designs and catchy marks and phrases.
You can see the Lavagirl range here.