Richmond shopkeeper Bob Wren has applied to register the Weetabix brand name with the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office in the hope that it will allow him to keep selling the British cereal at his store.

"I've actually applied for the name Weetabix because the name Weetabix, in one word, is not owned by anyone in New Zealand," Wren said yesterday.

If the office granted his application it would "stick a spanner in the works" for Sanitarium, he said.

"I would just own the name but they couldn't stop me using it."


According to the Intellectual Property Office's website, Wren submitted the trademark application on Monday and it was "under examination" yesterday.

But he was unsure whether it would be granted. "They might turn round to me and say it [Weetabix] is too similar [to Weet-Bix]."

He said Sanitarium had given him a deadline of Friday to stop selling Weetabix and hand over his stock.