Minden man trademarks ‘Haliburton’
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | July 27, 2017
A Minden man who successfully trademarked the name Haliburton has caused a stir.
During a county council meeting July 26, Dysart Reeve Murray Fearrey said merchants in his municipality “are being harassed about it.”
“I think there’s some urgency to deal with it,” said Fearrey.
Although the man wasn’t named at the meeting, a search of the Canadian Trademark database has revealed that Michael Arnold Stinson was granted the trademark in August of last year.
“It’s our understanding that that’s not permissible,” said Mike Rutter, chief administrative officer for the county. “But for whatever reason, administratively a bureaucrat did approve that trademark.”
And Rutter said they have been told that although bureaucrats can grant a trademark, they can’t take it away.
“They’re saying that the only option for us now is to retain a solicitor to challenge the trademark,” he said.
As a result, the county has contacted MP Jamie Schmale’s office to advocate on their behalf. Schmale has reached out to the Honourable Navdeeo Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to reverse the decision.
“Obviously I share the concerns of county council, business owners and residents,” he said in a phone interview. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous and unfair to Haliburton.”
He said his office has submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out what was on the application.
According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, you cannot register “words that represent a geographical location commonly known to be the place of origin of such goods or services.”
Rutter said it’s his understanding that Stinson is telling businesses that if they’re using the name Haliburton, they can’t or must pay to do so.
But in an interview, Stinson told The Highlander he isn’t trying to strong-arm anyone.
“I’m not going to slap them on the wrist,” said Stinson, who did sales and marketing of Kodak products for 35 years.
His lawyer, who applied for the trademark on his behalf, told him he has the rights to the name and can protect it, said Stinson. But he’s not looking to take legal action against business owners who are selling products with the Haliburton name on them.
Through his business, The Haliburton Store, Stinson wants to partner with them to sell a variety of products promoting Haliburton. He says he can offer these items at a lower price point and that he will use a supplier in Ontario. While it’s a business venture, he plans to donate a portion of sales to charities in the county.
“I wanted to give some money back to the community from that,” said Stinson, adding he thought the project would be interesting and fun.
He also wants to turn Haliburton into a big brand name in the outfitter world.
A lengthy list of goods, such as soaps, flashlights, athletic apparel and dairy products, are included under the trademark.
The Highlander has left a message for the trademarks examination section of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
See next Thursday’s Highlander for further developments.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.