An Auckland T-shirt company trying to raise money for earthquake-affected Christchurch charities has been ordered to stop using the phrase “Kia Kaha Christchurch” because it breaches a trademark held by another clothing label.
Mr Vintage notified potential customers of the situation on its Facebook page, which prompted a storm of condemnation from followers.
Mr Vintage founder Robert Ewan told NZPA it was a disappointing situation but he did not want to make it a big issue.
Well I’ll make it a big issue. Kia Kaha are Not Mates. They are being petty, and pathetic. It isn’t like Mr Vintage is profiteering or even trying to steal any brand, they are simply trying to raise money for the victims of the earthquake.
Kia Kaha are Not Mates.
If people want to help the people of Christchurch and think that buying a t-shirt is them, then please buy ones from Mr. Vintage, they are Mates. They are better shirts too.
UPDATE: I have been sent this link from Kia Kaha Shirts.
The team at Kia Kaha just wanted to clear up a bit of confusion around using the phrase Kia Kaha. Firstly, we applaud Mr Vintage for wanting to raise money for the people of Christchurch – that’s what we’re all trying to do and every dollar helps in Christchurch’s efforts to rebuild. We simply asked that Mr Vintage remove its Kia Kaha branded tee and concentrate on selling their other designs so we could all avoid confusion that was starting to occur. There was no “cease and desist” document ever issued to Mr Vintage nor was any legal action ever taken in this matter. The negative reaction from people who didn’t understand what was happening was unfortunate and saddening for us. Anyway we’ve talked to Mr Vintage, they’ve talked to us and we’re both now just getting on with raising money for Christchurch.
While we have had the term trademarked for 16 years for our clothing lines, we have always encouraged people to embrace the philosophy behind the meaning, Kia Kaha – Be Strong! Sports teams, school mottos even the Kia Kaha Police Anti Bullying programme all use the phrase in a positive way. We have never tried to stop this. Kia Kaha Avatars for the quake are cool. Go for it. The more messages and support of Kia Kaha to the residents of Christchurch the better, shout it from the rooftops if you feel inclined!
Kia Kaha is very proud to be contributing to the relief efforts in Christchurch. All proceeds from the sale of our tees are being donated to the New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal. We have some wonderful sponsorship to make this happen which we will be able to tell you about soon. The reaction to the design and the number of orders we’ve received has been simply outstanding. We will be updating you all on how much money we have raised for Christchurch shortly.
The most important thing is that we are all working hard for those who need our support most, Christchurch.
Kia Kaha Otautahi!!
I think it is safe to move Kia Kaha Shirts from No Mates to Mates.