Trademark bid 'stall tactic'
The Grey District Council's new slogan is under threat from a West Coast builder trying to trademark it.
David Ellerm has applied to register the the phrase "Mawhera Grey District - Heart of the West Coast" as a trademark.
The council, which paid $6000 for its new logo design, has challenged the application but meantime cannot use it for promotion and marketing.
Ellerm, an unsuccessful council candidate, said he was unhappy with the way the council introduced the slogan just before the local government election.
He was using the trademark process as "a stall tactic" and to make a political statement.
The logo was not doing anything to change an image of Greymouth as a "drab, workaday town". "It has received a lot of opposition. I wanted the mayor to listen to what business and tourism operators were saying. The word ‘grey' does not invoke aspirations to travel here," he said.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the slogan formed part of the district's new logo. "We decided we would revamp our logo. We just wanted to promote the place a bit. We consulted around stakeholders and that sort of thing."
Ellerm's trademark application came "out of the blue".
"You do not expect someone to go and pinch the logo for your district. He stole it. We put it out there and he took it. That's just not fair.
"We see his move as just being spiteful. He was doing it as an election issue, and subsequently only got 51 votes," he said.
Kokshoorn said the council had already spent about $1200 on lawyers to oppose Ellerm's application and "if we cannot overturn his application we will go back to the drawing board".
"We are not going to spend hundreds of thousands on lawyers."
Ellerm said the trademark application cost him about $170.
- © Fairfax NZ News