22 May 2019

For those of you who read by second Blog on the 17th March, you will know that I didn't quite trademark my "Ballyhoo Burny" brand the way I had hoped and with no thanks to the pontification of the 'New Zealand Intellectual Property Office' (IPONZ), I wasn't able to correct this.

So just to recap, on the 21st November 2018, I applied for a Trademark on the name and image of my cartoon character, "Ballyhoo Burny". In hindsight, trademarking the image wasn't so important because I already own the (31 year old & counting) copyright on it, but thought, why not as it's an option provided for the same price.

It was only one month before that, on the 17th October 2018, that I had first thought of producing "Burny" as a plush toy (see Blog 1), so didn't have a lot of up-to-date visuals to supply. I had just had fridge magnets made with Burny's image on them and so provided 'IPONZ' with that, along with my intro/request:-

"I wish to merchandise cartoon designs that I, Sean Gaskin, have designed and own the copyrights of. The first cartoon character I wish to merchandise is BALLYHOO BURNY and I therefore want to Trademark both that name and it's (sic) image." (See point 2 in the 'Certificate of Trade Mark Registration' below).

On the 11th December 2018, I received an email from the NZ Intellectual Property Office telling me that there had been no objections raised to my application and the Trademark had been accepted. BUT..... the trademark was the picture of my fridge magnet, including my name and website address which aren't really allowed to be trade marked! I was up in arms and called them immediately, but just like many government offices, they weren't helpful at all and said if I wasn't happy, I could still withdraw my application, which had cost me $172.50 and then reapply, paying another $172.50!

A prime example of pontificated beurocracy!

But I thought, what the heck, "Ballyhoo Burny" is still included within this stuffed up trade mark, so I let it go ahead.

Now, 6 months later, I have been granted a registered trademark..... of my frickin' fridge magnet, lol (see image of the certificate below)! But on doing a search, the name "Ballyhoo Burny" is registered under (mental) Case Number: 1107755, so if anyone anywhere in the world attempts to trademark my Ballyhoo Burny brand as their own, I will win if it were to go to court.

So while I work with my chosen manufacturing company in China on the sample of the Burny plush toy (which is taking way longer than I had expected, but that's for another Blog), at least I can celebrate in a small way that my "BALLYHOO BURNY" name.....and image (!) are officially a Brand!

If you would like to comment or be involved in any discussions that might incur as a result of this blog, then please click on this picture to the right and go to the BALLYHOO BURNY facebook page and become part of his scene to share your views.

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