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Brand protection the key to sweet success for Original Foods Baking Co.

3 March 2016. Posted by Stephanie Hadley.

With 25 years in the baked goods business, Original Foods Baking Co. (OFBC) is making a bold statement with its new brand.

Formerly Original Foods, the Christchurch based company has not only changed its name to Original Foods Baking Co., but also its logo to reflect the contemporary brand personality.

The logo features a cheeky monkey licking its lips, and will appear on the company’s full range of cakes, muffins and cakes, donuts, muffins and slices over the coming months.

Kiwi owned and operated in Christchurch, OFBC’s range of wholesale baked goods is available in supermarkets around the country, and also exported to the Cook Islands, Samoa and Australia as well as served on airlines such as Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines.

Already an IP savvy business, the brand overhaul meant a revamp of their intellectual property portfolio.

Having worked with national intellectual property and commercial specialists James & Wells for the past 16 years, the firm was tasked with securing rights for the new brand.

 “As a medium sized, wholesale baking business that exports internationally this is a vital element of our business. With James & Wells we have found a firm that understands our market and has extensive knowledge of the food and beverage sector,” says OFBC managing director Jane Mayell.

Stephanie Melbourne of James & Wells says it seemed unlikely that OFBC would be able to register Original Foods as a word mark for the goods, as it would be seen as too descriptive.

Instead, the Christchurch based solicitor filed for a stylised word version, and also the distinctive cheeky monkey character which characterises OFBC’s packaging and labelling, to create a level of distinctiveness.

A search was conducted for both the brand name and the monkey logo individually to ensure there was no conflict with any other registered or unregistered rights.

In addition, with OFBC’s new ‘Bite Me’ range launching into the market, the company wanted to secure trade marks for that product range.

An extensive brand search was conducted, revealing that the trade mark had already been registered. However, further research showed the Australian-based company who owned the trade mark was not using it.

Stephanie and the James & Wells team entered negotiations for the Australian and New Zealand trade mark to be assigned to OFBC – with success.

James & Wells now undertake trade mark watching services for OFBC to ensure the company can continue to protect their registered rights for the ‘Original Foods’, ‘Original Foods Baking Co.’ and ‘Bite Me’ trade marks.

Click here to read Original Foods' full case study.