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Setting the Record Straight on the All Black Brand

Setting the Record Straight on the All Black Brand

ACT has required the Government to slow down the law changes which would give legal royalty status to the Rugby Union silver fern logo. The changes would have gone through this afternoon without anyone outside having more than an hour's notice of what they say. Now the public will get an opportunity to point out hidden traps, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said.

"The Government wanted to pass this legislation today as part of the Statutes Amendment Bill - a housekeeping tool used to fix up non-contentious matters.

"Last night, ACT announced that we would not join in this change until satisfied that other users of fern marks, and perhaps people who would refer to the All Blacks in their business without intending to "ambush market", were comfortable.

"We are still in the dark on whether other codes and teams (Tall Blacks, Silver Ferns), and business trademarks (for example Fernleaf butter) are comfortable about the protection intended. We told the Minister and NZRFU that if at any stage we received a credible claim that the extent or impact of the proposed protection has not been properly appreciated and it will adversely affect a legitimate current use, we would withdraw our approval to the inclusion in the Statutes Amendment Bill.

"We know that our position could be misrepresented as being anti-rugby - so this statement is meant to make it crystal clear. We will support protection when it is clear it will not unintentionally hurt other legitime users of fern marks.

"ACT believes the matter should not be rushed through all its stages in one day without an opportunity for people who hear of this matter to look into it. We are very conscious that the legislation has not even been available to public examination," Mr Franks said.

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