MIXING WITH THE BEST!
TRADE MARKS AND COPYRIGHT
LEGAL RIGHTS – YOURS AND OURS
To all our Customers, Enthusiasts, Bloggers, Social Media Addicts, Authors and Competitors
It has been love at first sight for some. Raving fans have passionately embraced Thermomix ® in Australia and New Zealand and for many the name and the product excites, inspires and has lots of us talking and sharing recipes and experiences.
We all feel proud about the quality of the product, the health benefits it offers and continually being surprised and excited with new recipes. The continued success of the Thermomix ® products has created a number of concerns in respect to breaches of trade mark and copyright whether by the innocent actions of passionate owners or by competitors leveraging from the success of Thermomix ® internationally. Such breaches can impact the core values of the product that we all wish to protect.
We hope that the following information will assist those of you who would like to understand what you can and can’t do legally and how to work with us to enhance, rather than detract from, the Thermomix ® brand.
A. TRADE MARKS
What is a trade mark?
A trade mark is a sign used to distinguish goods or services provided in the course of trade by a person from those provided by any other person.
Put simply, a trade mark is a “badge of origin”.
Once registered, a trade mark grants its owner various rights, including to commence legal proceedings against a person engaging in trade mark infringement. Infringement can occur in circumstances where the infringer is using an identical or deceptively similar mark.
The Thermomix® trade mark
“Thermomix®” is a registered trade mark of Vorwerk International AG (Vorwerk) in Australia & New Zealand.
The Mix Australia Pty Ltd (The Mix) is the distributor of the Thermomix® in Australia and The Mix New Zealand Ltd (also The Mix) is the distributor of Thermomix ® in New Zealand. The Mix is licensed to use the “Thermomix®” suite of trade marks.
Vorwerk and The Mix appreciate and encourage the support of passionate Thermomix® enthusiasts. However, when others try to leverage off the success of “Thermomix®” for their own benefit – then we will take a proactive approach to protect and enforce any trade mark rights to the full extent of the law.
By taking a proactive approach with the respect to the Thermomix® brand, we believe Thermomix® owners and customers can continue to use and enjoy our products with confidence.
How Thermomix® enthusiasts may refer to the product
As we are all aware, social media and the internet offers a great opportunity to share our experiences and the things we like and have become passionate about. The impact of this has been both positive and negative for brands such as Thermomix®.
We are aware that many Thermomix® enthusiasts nationally and internationally are using the internet to share recipes, information and their excitement about Thermomix® and its uses. Several unofficial sites, forums and blogs have been established. Some of these unfortunately use the Thermomix® brand and trade marks in a manner that may lead consumers to become confused about whether these sites, forums or blogs are in fact endorsed by, or affiliated with, The Mix and / or Vorwerk.
While it is difficult to set hard and fast rules about proper use to cover every situation, we have developed some general guidelines below. We stress that any person intending to use the Thermomix® brand and trade marks should first obtain independent legal advice, as the guidance below is general in nature only.
Generally, a person is entitled to use the term “Thermomix” in its descriptive sense.
Issues arise where the word “Thermomix” is used as a badge or origin or as some other indicator of association or affiliation.
For example, if a customer referred to themselves as “The Thermomix Wizard” and charged customers for unauthorised Thermomix demonstrations, then such use of the term “Thermomix” would clearly be as a “badge of origin”. The Mix would likely take issue with such conduct and take appropriate action.
However, if a customer commented on a social media page “I love cooking with my Thermomix”, this use is clearly descriptive and of no concern to The Mix.
The “Thermomix®” trade mark and name should not be incorporated into any domain name. Domain names have become synonymous with home pages of brands and using “Thermomix” (or a variation of the same) in a domain name may create a misleading impression that the website, forum or blog is in some way affiliated with or endorsed by The Mix and/or Vorwerk.
The “Thermomix®” brand appears in many varieties of stylised logos, including the highly recognisable blades.
These logos should never be used as part of an unofficial website, page, blog or forum so as to give the incorrect impression that the site is in some way affiliated with or endorsed by The Mix and/or Vorwerk.
A disclaimer may assist visitors to an unauthorised page to understand that it is not affiliated or endorsed by The Mix and / or Vorwerk. An example of such a disclaimer is set out below:
“Thermomix®” is a registered trade mark of Vorwerk International AG in Australia & New Zealand. The Mix Australia Pty Ltd is its authorised user and distributor in Australia of Thermomix ® products. The Mix New Zealand Ltd is its authorised user and distributor in New Zealand of Thermomix ® products. Neither company supports, authorises or endorses this site”.
The use of the above (or any) disclaimer does not serve to undo or make good any incorrect use of any trade mark, logo, brand or copyright.
Copyright is the exclusive right to exploit (in a variety of ways) works (such as literary, artistic and musical works) and other subject matter (such as films, sound recordings and broadcasts).
Copyright subsists in works such as photographs, drawings, logos, text and videos. These types of works are created and used by The Mix on a daily basis. Examples include:
- recipe books and other publications featuring both text and photographs;
- video content available online;
- marketing material, available in print or online; and
- product packaging.
A lot of work, time and resources goes into the creation of this material. Vorwerk and The Mix takes the protection of copyright very seriously as a result. Unauthorised use, including the copying, scanning and distribution (regardless of the media source) of copyright material is an infringement of our copyright.
In many instances, Thermomix® recipes are naturally copied and / or scanned and used. Providing these copies are unaltered and for non-commercial use or gain, or not being used in a way that could be misleading or damaging to the Thermomix® brand, then The Mix may consider this “fair use”. However, use of any copyright material without permission for commercial benefit is likely to be an infringement of Vorwerk and/or The Mix’s copyright and we will take appropriate action to protect these rights.
In respect to those who may wish to publish their own Thermomix® recipes and / or operate in a commercial undertaking that associates itself with Thermomix® products, we suggest that you seek independent legal advice.
We understand that most customers want to respect intellectual property rights, but are uncertain about what is OK and what is not. It is for this reason that the information above is provided.
We hope that this information is of assistance. We reserve our right to modify these guidelines without notice to you.
Finally, we want to thank all Thermomix® users for their passion for cooking, using their Thermomix® and associated products and for sharing their experiences.
If you have any further queries, or wish to discuss these matters further, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.