Monday, March 9, 2015

What's in a Name?

By Amy Weatherby-Johnson
The subject of the KGBA trademark has come up a few times lately on the Kinder Folks Facebook group and other internet groups. There are many benefits to the Kinder name being trademarked. There are also some misunderstandings that should be cleared up for the sake of the breed and KGBA members.
Who trademarked the “Kinder” name?
The trademark was registered by the Kinder Goat Breeders Association. Trademarking the Kinder name prevents it from being used for multiple registries or being used in ways that misrepresent the breed. Having one official breed registry means owners and breeders can be assured that the breed has one set of standards to follow and one source of registration information. As the breed expands in size and quality, all breeders should be focused on creating Kinders as close to the breed standard as possible. This trademark helps all of us do that by requiring that all first generation goats come from registered stock and that goats sold as Kinders are truly Kinder goats.

Who benefits from the Kinder name being trademarked?
The trademark benefits everyone who cares about this breed. From those that breed and sell Kinders to those that have businesses based on the milk or meat that Kinders provide, anyone selling a true Kinder has the same standards and guidelines to follow. The trademark means that all future Kinder owners should expect a goat that meets the breed standard and is actually what it is said to be. Buyers can purchase a true Kinder with the expectation that their new goat will not have disqualifying faults. All goats sold as Kinders will affect the reputation of the breed and ethical breeders are committed to ensuring that their goats show the breed well. Legally reserving the Kinder name for goats that were originally bred from a registered Nubian and a registered Pygmy protects those buying Kinders from buying a goat that is actually a cross of unregistered parents or other breeds.   

Why is it important that the Kinder name is trademarked?
If the name was not legally protected it could be used on any cross of goats that resemble Kinders. If any goat that is similar to a Kinder could be sold as a Kinder, there would be no incentive to breed the best examples of Kinders that we can. It would also mean that there would be little reason to invest in strong genetics and it would reduce the market price for goats that are bred to meet the standards. As a seller, there would be little to no market for well bred registered Kinders and no reason to improve your herd. As a buyer, there would be no guarantee that your new goats came from registered parents and are truly purebred Kinders. Without a trademark, the name could also be used by multiple registries, as some other breeds have done. That would add to the expense of raising goats by having to pay for multiple registrations to meet the requirements of different regional shows. In all aspects, the trademark protects the breed and Kinder owners.

How does that affect my and my goats?

If your goats are registered with the KGBA, or were born to a registered Nubian and a registered Pygmy and can be registered with the KGBA, you have Kinders. You can sell, breed, and show them as Kinders. If your goats are not from registered parents and can not be registered with the KGBA, you have “kinder-type” Nubian/Pygmy crossed goats. You can not legally sell or show unregisterable goats as Kinders.

Is my goat trademarked?
Individual goats are not trademarked. Only the use of the name Kinder is legally protected by trademark.

Do I need permission to use the name “Kinder”?
Per the KGBA, there is no licensing requirement to use the Kinder name on marketing or promotional materials. Although membership has many benefits, you are not required to be a member of the KGBA in order to complete a registration on your goat.