Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


US Software Company Trademarks Maori Word 'Koha' in NZ

John Kelcher
Candidate for Waimakariri

23 November 2011

IPONZ approves Koha Trademark

American Software Company Trademarks Maori Word in New Zealand

Once again the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) have granted a trademark on a common word. This time it is the Maori word Koha, which means gift or donation.

The Horowhenua Library Trust have used Koha as the name of their open-source, online library catalogue system, developed by Katipo Communications in 1999.

American firm PTFS/Liblime have applied for the trademark of Koha and this has been granted by IPONZ. Though the strength of PTFS/Liblime’s mark is thought to be weak, a challenge by the Horowhenua Library Trust would be expensive and time consuming.

Recently IPONZ have made controversial decisions over common words, such as the Green Man Brewery’s beer called “Raddler” (German for cyclist), small cheese-makers using the generic term “Vintage” and the exclusive use of the American slang term by a Taihape café called “Brown Sugar”.

Green Party candidate for Waimakairiri, John Kelcher, has spoken out against IPONZ’s decisions, particularly about Fonterra Brand’s threats of legal action over the use of ‘Vintage” by small cheese makers.

“It seems strange that IPONZ, a part of the Ministry of Economic Development, would favour a private American company over a community based New Zealand Library. I expect that opposition from Maori groups will be vociferous. Their attempt to pinch the Maori word Koha is highly symbolic and will not go unchallenged.”

“I think we should be looking at the legislation and culture of IPONZ. We must insist they start working for the common good of New Zealanders, instead of brokering aggressive and dubious claims over common words for private gain. Nobody wins here, except the lawyers.

A fund has been set up to collect donations for mounting a legal challenge. http://koha-community.org/plea-horowhenua-library-trust/

www.greens.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news