By Chad Ingram
Published Aug. 2 2017
The Minden man who successfullytrademarked the word “Haliburton” for commercial purposes hasassigned the trademark to the County of Haliburton.
As reported earlier it came up at acounty council meeting last week that a local resident had appliedand been approved for the word mark trademark “Haliburton” for ahost of commercial goods including but not limited to athleticapparel casual clothing sweatshirts caps children's clothingpillows cushions sports bags cooler bags blankets towels andbeach toys.
The application was approved by thefederal government through the Ministry of Innovation Science andEconomic Development in February of this year.
Councillors were upset Minden HillsReeve and County Warden Brent Devolin pointing out that underlegislation the names geographical locations from which goods andservices come are supposed to be exempt from trademarking.
Since the federal government seemedunwilling to correct what appeared to be an error councillors madeit clear that legal options were on the table.
On the afternoon of Wednesday Aug. 2county chief administrative officer Mike Rutter confirmed the county hadreceived a letter from trademark holder Michael Stinson irrevocablytransferring all rights to and future interests in the trademark tothe County of Haliburton and also offering to undergo the process ofhaving the trademark expunged from the record if county council sowishes.
“I have been aware since yesterdaythat there have been negotiations between the chamber of commerce andMr. Stinson” Devolin told the paper Wednesday.
Both Devolin and Rutter creditedchamber representatives for their work in resolving the situation and Rutter said he also appreciated Stinson taking action on his own volition.The issue came to the county's attention through the chamber whichhad apparently received comments from member business owners about the trademark holder.
“It's a good outcome” Devolinsaid.
However the fact the trademark wasapproved in the first place is still problematic Devolin saidadding he'll continue to seek clarification and advocate forstrengthening of policy through the Association of Municipalities ofOntario and the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus.
Hopefully Devolin said a similarsituation can be avoided in other communities.
“Everything has been blown way out ofproportion about T-shirts” Stinson wrote in a statement he sent tothe paper. “Key Haliburton officials have made untrue statementsabout me. It’s an unfortunate defamation of character. It’suntrue that I’m harassing stores to buy from me. It’s untrue thatstores must pay me to use the name Haliburton. It’s untrue thechamber has been receiving complaints about me. Businesses stillcontinue to purchase products from me and have no issues doing so. Iam a resident of Haliburton County and I successfully trademarked thename Haliburton.
“I always wanted to put Haliburton onthe map with the cooperation of the county. I guess I have done itnow. It’s unfortunate that people jumped to conclusions and it allstarted from rumours. I’m optimistic that this will beresolved very quickly and in the best interests of our community.”
Chamber of commerce president RichardWannan told the paper while some member business owners had beenconcerned about the trademarking itself business owners were neverasked to pay any kind of royalty.
“Every one of those individuals saidhe never asked for royalties” Wannan said. Wannan said the chamberwas happy to be part of resolving the situation.
Stinson sells merchandise through hisbusiness The Haliburton Store.