NZ Post delivers bad news to cafe

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New Zealand Post has stamped on a small Queens­town cafe for imitating its logo.

The state-owned enterprise threatened legal action against the newly-opened Post Office Cafe on Ballarat Street for breaching copyright law and the Fair Trading Act.

Cafe co-owner Jan Rae insists she was given legal advice that her original business logo met the letter of the law by differing in three respects from NZ Post’s familiar red and white, envelope-shaped symbol.

The cafe’s version added a handle to form a cup, showed steam rising from it and was a different colour. However, NZ Post deemed Rae had pushed the envelope by adapting its trademark.

“Rather than going at loggerheads with NZ Post, and with them being a neighbour as well, we decided we’d just modify our logo,” Rae says.

NZ Post has allowed the cafe to change its version by closing in three of the corners, she says.

Rae: “We thought we might have to modify it a lot more than what we did, to get approval.

“They were very nice about it, they didn’t come down heavy.”

Modifying the logo will involve rebranding uniforms as well as signage but Rae doesn’t think it will be too costly an exercise.

NZ Post confirms it wasn’t happy with the cafe’s original efforts.

“We asked the cafe owners to amend their logo so it didn’t infringe our copyright,” retail boss Michelle van Gaalen says.

“They have done so. I’m pleased to say the matter was resolved amicably.”