Wednesday, December 02, 2009

When dealing with the public

Elephant Coast of South Africa is a claimed Trademark

It is a fact that their is a legal battle between the Domain Owner of http://www.elephantcoast.co.za and The Maputuland Tourism association  regarding the use of this domain, but it is hardly a domain dispute. This domain was registered by Petrus Viviers in June 2003 and has since been used to promote The Elephant Coast, its culture and the Accommodation provided on the World Wide Web.

For Africa is the sole property of Petrus Viviers and was a brand name chosen in 1997 to promote and market products and Travel related news on the Internet. http://www.elephantcoast.co.za, http://www.stlucia.org.za and http://www.isimangaliso.co.za has been products that where the result of this venture. Like it or not it remains the products of Petrus Viviers.

The dispute that are now being legally resolved is between MAPUTULAND TOURISM ASSOCIATION (complainant) and Petrus Viviers (defendant). The matter is of a Trademark infringement nature where the lawyer objects to the fact that Petrus Viviers uses the words Elephant Coast in his marketing since it is the alleged property of  Maputuland Tourism Association.

"
Our client is the proprietor in South Africa of the trademark ELEPHANT COAST. Our client’s South African registration includes the following: "
"NO: 2009/15559 ELEPHANT COAST IN CLASS 35 IN RESPECT OF: Advertising, business management, office function, tourism region.
"
"
This registered right entitles out client to prevent the use of the name or trademark by any other person, which is confusingly or deceptively similarly to ELEPHANT COAST trademark in relation to the goods or services for which the trademark is registered, or similar goods or services, where the use by the other person is likely to cause deception and/or confusion. Section 34 (1)(a) and 34(1)(b) of the Trademarks Act Number 94 of 1993 apply in this regard."

The matter is been dealt with and the domain http://www.lephantcoast.co.za will point to http://www.isimangaliso.co.za until this matter is resolved. Sorry for any inconvenience.

by Petrus Viviers
083 584 7473
Domain Owner
http://www.elephantcoast.co.za



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Viviers,

I have given instructions that we should consolidate all websites leading to and relating to our region as there is a myriad of sites that hardly contribute to building a brand and a region as a destination (as opposed to individual marketing)

I am not too au fait with legal terms etc.(or computers and websites for that matter), but the intentions of actions is to consolidate and get a more cohesive effort of branding and marketing using the resources of the web, as it is the biggest marketing and branding tool available.

In your aggresive and defensive tone i can see that it must have hit a nerve - I also see you own the websites stlucia and isimangaliso and I am sure your aims with all these websites are purely philantropic and to the greater good of the area you are in - I salute you for that and I am sure that the entities whose names you own also appreciate the fact that an individual had the foresight to secure and register the names for the benefit of all and not an exclusive group.

The route I would have followed was to ask how we can work together to promote and improve the region, but then again i should not be surprised at the rsponses I am getting from various (yes, it is not only yourself who have a site that represents the region) domain owners, as it is something that we as outh Africans can do so well - complain about things, but refuse to help and change it.

Another fact - there is no legal battle yet, only a letter informing you of our view and stand, but unfortunately it seems that you have made up your mind. And the question why you are re-routing the website if you are in the right also does come to mind

I thank you for keeping the interests of Elephant Coast as the most important objective and noit clouding your judgement with personal interests. i do not wish to fight and attack, as it is destructive, but have to respond to the plethora of bloggs etc. that refers to this (although with the lack of response from anybody, I should not really be concerned)

I would like to ask that this matter be considered maturely and to the benefit of the region as a whole

Also - Maputuland Tourism is the holding company for Elephant Coast Tourism - so it is the same entity. What we are doing is for the benefit of a region and a large number of people - I again salute your forsight and vision to register such a domain - it is something the tourism office should have done, but lackd the expertise and vision to do. What we are asking is to help us brand and consolidate - it should not be that difficult to achieve and understand?

Danie Smit

Petrus Viviers said...

Dear Mr Smit

I do not see the fact that I responded on your last comment as being aggressive in my defence. I am purely putting the current facts to the Advertisers and product owners of the region. You legal angle is reflection of your intention and a email to me before the lawyers attempted a force hand over would have a much better reaction from your side. Your dealings with the truth in your previous comment and this one reflects badly on your intensions.

The domains that you are referring to have been products of my attempts to market the area over a period of 14 years. I will not divulge any matter further regarding this matter since your lawyer clearly has not informed you of your legal position yet. As soon as this matter is resolved I will gladly post the facts and a timeline to inform the public of the route you chose to follow to the alternative of one friendly phone call or email.

Petrus Viviers
Domain owner
http://www.elephantcoast.co.za
083 584 7473

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