Law Staff International Limited v Law Staff Australia Pty Limited [2009] NZDNC 377

[2009] - NZDNC - 377
Transferred - Rights ; Complainant's Rights - Transferred - Rights

The complainant was incorporated in 2008 and the director of the complainant was in partnership with a controlling shareholder of the respondent. Both of these companies are in the legal recruitment field and traded under the name LAW STAFF.

The two companies split and the names were changed to avoid confusion. The two were previously in another domain name dispute in Australia where the authorities found in favour of the complainant. The complainant claimed the domain name was unfairly registered as the respondent did not have the right to the company name with the <.nz> suffix.

There was no registered trademark in New Zealand for LAW STAFF INTERNATIONAL. But it was found there was sufficient use and reputation built up in NZ, enough to look past the descriptiveness of the name.
The registration was a blocking registration by the respondent or to unfairly disrupt the complainant's business. The director of the complainant brought forth the action but in her statements, she made constant remarks that attributed herself as the rights owner when that is not the case. The expert noted that complainants need to properly identify the complainant and make sure the evidence as to their rights is clear and consistent.

Link to NZLII Decision

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