City man wins logo dispute with LG

An Invercargill business is hailing a "victory for the small man" after winning an expensive and lengthy legal battle against worldwide electronics giant LG Electronics.

Kenneth Hunter and Steve Birkhead, of city electrical safety company Atspec, have finally come out on top after spending three years and $50,000 fighting LG Electronics in a trademark dispute.

LG had claimed Atspec's brand logos, of a happy face indicating a passed test and a sad face indicating a failed test, were too similar to its own face logo.

However, a High Court hearing in Wellington has resulted in Judge Simon France yesterday ruling in favour of Atspec. His decision says there is a similarity in the two companies' logos but no real likelihood of confusion.

Mr Hunter said he was stoked with the decision and they could now get on with focusing their energies on the business.

"It's a headache that has stayed with us for three years and cost us a lot of money. We can only look forward from here on in."

Atspec would be seeking costs from LG Electronics, he said. "This is a victory for the small man.

"It just shows it doesn't matter how small you are and how big the other person is. If you are bright and persistent you will win in the end."

LG Electronics New Zealand marketing manager Kane Silcock said the court case against Atspec had been taken by LG Corporate in Korea so he could not comment.

He referred questions to Mr Ki-Woong Baek in Korea.

Mr Ki-Woong could not be contacted last night.


The Southland Times