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.


  1. Amy, great article. I do have a couple of questions.

    Isn't this misleading? "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." Doesn't registration as a Kinder just mean that the goat you are purchasing has registered parents? They won't all conform to the breed standard. And you don't check each one for disqualifying faults, do you?

    This statement is also misleading. "As a buyer, there would be no guarantee that your new goats came from registered parents and are truly dual purpose Kinders capable of producing milk and meat." All the Kinder name guarantees is that your goat came from registered parents. It is logical that true dual purpose Kinders are capable of producing milk and meat, but the Kinder name on a goat does not guarantee that.

    This may seem nit-picky, but because it is in the official Kinder newsletter, it is important to represent things accurately. I have seen situations in the past where this very thing caused a lot of trouble. :)

  2. Leslie,
    Thank you for your questions!
    In answer to your first question, we rely on our members' honesty when registering their goats, and assume for the sake of the breed and their own reputations that they will not purposely register goats with disqualifying faults.
    Kinder goats are, by definition, dual purpose goats capable of producing milk and meat. Following this train of thought, it is understood that we are not guaranteeing an individual goat's production capabilities, but rather that the goat in question was bred in accordance with KGBA regulations and standards, and that it was registered as a dual purpose breed, i.e. a Kinder.
    Although this is not our official newsletter (that is mailed to our members quarterly), it IS official KGBA media, so we always try to make it as honest and straightforward as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify whenever possible... thank you!

  3. Hello there! I'm a former KGBA member and lover of my Kinder goats. I do have a question......mine AREN'T registered Kinder's and aren't eligible for registration, even though they are almost straight Bramble Patch Kinder all the way back. I refer to them as Kinder goats on my blog and tell people they are Kinder goats. I don't have their pedigrees in front of me currently, but I believe there is one goat on there that prevents them from being registered as Kinder goats. Am I breaking the law by referring to them as Kinders? From what I understand they are what was once referred to as percentage Kinders, before percentage Kinders weren't allowed anymore. Just want to be certain I'm not breaking any laws, and if I need to begin referring to them as something else :) Thanks for your help.