Man plans on trademarking 'Aunty Helen'

Author
Vaimoana Tapaleao, NZ Herald,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Thursday, 29 November 2018, 2:28p.m.
The man said he got the idea after it was discussed with the former PM. (Photo / Getty)
The man said he got the idea after it was discussed with the former PM. (Photo / Getty)

Good ol' aunty Helen.

Only in New Zealand would you hear that nickname and know someone was talking about a Prime Minister.

Now one man has taken it a step further and moved to trademark the term affectionately associated with former PM Helen Clark.

The man, identified as Craig, confirmed that he was still in the process of getting "Aunty Helen" trademarked.

"There's a lot to consider, so that's where I'm at.

"It's gone through the trademark process - most definitely.

"It's all locked and loaded, as it were.''

He had applied to trademark two terms, he said, but was coy to share what the second might be.

Asked if it was Uncle Winston, he laughed before saying firmly: "No.''

He would not elaborate more about his reasons behind getting "Aunty Helen" trademarked.

However, it is understood he called a radio station last week, sharing that he had got the idea after it was jokingly discussed with Clark on a television show.

The affectionate term for Clark is thought to have started among Labour's Māori supporters before it was widely picked up.

In 2016, when the then head of the United Nations Development Programme announced her campaign for the Secretary-General role, Kiwi fans quickly organised "Aunty Helen for UN Secretary General'' t-shirts.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment - which looks after the Intellectual Property Office NZ - confirmed that two trademarks carrying the name Aunty Helen had been examined and accepted by the IPONZ office.

A case details report provided to the Herald showed both trademarks had an intended use or proposed use in relation to goods and services.

The first trademark fell under classes 25, 35, 36, 39 and 45 - which includes clothing for men, women and children, political fundraising services, providing information regarding political issues and the reservation of transport for sporting, scientific, cultural or political events.

The second TM fell under class 41 - which included desktop publishing, digital video, audio and multimedia entertainment publishing services and the publishing of educational materials, electronic magazines, textbooks and web magazines.

Both trademarks are still within the opposition period - which stands for three months from the publication date of a trademark in the IPONZ Journal.

The first Aunty Helen trademark was published in late September, while the second Aunty Helen trademark was published late last month.

 

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