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

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news