Free the jandal, says Hamilton retailer

MAKING A STAND: director Jeremy Mould is having a 'Not Jandals' sale and taking on the big guys to use the word jandal in advertising.
MAKING A STAND: director Jeremy Mould is having a 'Not Jandals' sale and taking on the big guys to use the word jandal in advertising.

An army of fanatics has formed following a stoush over the naming of the classic Kiwi jandal and it is determined to overturn a trademark on the word.

On Wednesday morning, Hamilton based online retailer was asked to refrain from using the term jandal to advertise footwear as it was breaching a trademark. The website's Hamilton-based directors, Chris Atkins and Jeremy Mould, took to Facebook for public backing before they put their foot down in protest. "Everyone is saying it is a New Zealand word for New Zealanders to use and that it is ridiculous that someone is making money off it," Mr Atkins said.

"We're keen to pick up the ball and take them back for the country," Mr Mould added.

They have started a Facebook page titled Jandal Scandal, where they have a petition running to reinstate the word as a Kiwi colloquialism, rather than an owned term.  As of 8am, they had 681 likes. 

And intellectual property lawyers said the pair might have a chance of winning the word back.

Catalyst Intellectual Property, and James and Wells, the country's biggest intellectual property law firm, had both offered to take the case on, Mr Mould said.

Catalyst partner and patent lawyer Kate Duckworth said there was a "pretty good case for revocation" of the term.

Section 66 of the Trade Marks Act 2002, states the grounds for revoking a trademark.

Ms Duckworth said the retailers might be able to go down two avenues. The first would be to attempt a revocation under section 1c which states that "in consequence of acts or inactivity of the owner, the trademark has become a common name in general public use for a product or service in respect of which it is registered".

"I think because it's a common term, it would seem that there is a pretty good case for revocation," Ms Duckworth said.

Another course might be section 1a which explains a revocation may be granted if "at no time during a continuous period of three years or more was the trademark put to genuine use in the course of trade in New Zealand, by the owner for the time being, in relation to goods or services in respect of which it is registered".

The jandal scandal also went down a sidetrack yesterday as a case of mistaken identity led to an unrelated company batting off complaints from jandal-loving Kiwis. The restraining letter came from Baron Sandford, of Sandford Industries Ltd - not to be confused with Sandford Industries (2010) Ltd. Sandford Industries (2010) Ltd trades under the name Sandford Industries as they bought the business from Baron Sandford in January 2011.

However, Mr Sandford is still listed as a director of Sandford Industries Ltd on the companies register. It is understood Mr Sandford now trades under Gentex (NZ) Ltd, and manufactures and sells jandals through website

Sandford Industries (2010) Ltd is based in Christchurch and sells Commando Gumboots and Commando M shoes. Director Kris Webster said they had no problem with anyone using the term jandal. "It's a generic term for all Kiwis to use."

Mr Atkins said their website was now running a "Not Jandals" deal.

Waikato Times