Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>

 

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:

Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:

Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels