Nickelodeon Is Opposing A 12 Year Old New Zealand Girl's 'Slime' Trademark For Some Reason

from the you-can't-do-that-in-new-zealand dept

Viacom has decided to take its trademark bullying game international and possibly against the most sympathetic target it could find. Nickelodeon, owned by Viacom, has decided to oppose the trademark registration of a 12 year old girl in New Zealand, claiming its trademark on the word "slime" is too important. Katharina Weischede has managed to build up an online brand in New Zealand for producing and playing with "slime." She made a business out of it and attempted to trademark "slime princess", only to find Nickelodeon opposing it.

What started off as a hobby had by late 2017 become a home-based business called "Slime Princess". Now known by her friends, family and even strangers as the "Slime Princess", she eventually decided to trademark her business's name. However, Katharina was met with opposition by Viacom, the owners of children's entertainment channel Nickelodeon. After applying to trademark "Slime Princess" earlier this year, Katharina received a letter from Viacom opposing the trademark. According to the New Zealand Intellectual Property office, Viacom has trademarked the word "slime".

Everything about this is absurd. We can start with how unlikely it would be for any confusion to exist between Weishede and Nickelodeon, move on to the very generic and broad mark that Viacom apparently holds in New Zealand, take a turn to point out that Weishede's business has something like $20k in valuation, and finish off by simply pointing out the PR nightmare that is the parent company of a kids' network battling a 12 year old at the trademark office.

The good news is that Weishede appears to be a very bright young woman.

Aside from running her business, Katharina is interested in becoming a human rights lawyer.

This case was "a great start to show people that you fight for what you believe in", she said. "I wanted to fight because I made this and it's not just about the slime. It's the brand itself. People don't only come for the slime, they go and see me."

She has set up a page to collect money for the legal fees to fight this. Her family is also backing her and she is working with a lawyer, who is hinting at the fact that Viacom certainly didn't have to go the route of fighting a trademark battle with a 12 year old.

Katharina's lawyer, Alex Lee, said the 12-year-old had worked very hard to build up her profile and her brand.

"This is a young girl's dream," he said. "If in fact the other party wanted to find a way to work with her that's great but certainly, we wouldn't want to think the idea is to prevent a young teenager who already has a profile with a particular brand from being denied her rights."

And finding a way to work with her is exactly what Viacom should be doing here, or it risks tarnishing the reputation Nickelodeon has worldwide over the "threat" of a bright 12 year old young woman. Best of luck winning that PR battle.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 24 Aug 2018 @ 3:42pm

    Geez, Adventure Time would have a better claim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christenson, 24 Aug 2018 @ 4:10pm

    I am the slime on the video...

    Frank Zappa song: "I am the slime on the video"

    Looks like we have more creeping trademarkism. Slime is a descriptive, should not be trademarkable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Slimeacom, 24 Aug 2018 @ 4:24pm

    Nickelodius

    So a major corporation wants us to think SLIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! every time we see its name?

    Job Done!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), 24 Aug 2018 @ 4:28pm

    This just in...

    Slime Balls try to stop Slime Princess!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 24 Aug 2018 @ 6:53pm

    Viacom, Screwing young girls is our thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 25 Aug 2018 @ 1:21am

    According to the New Zealand Intellectual Property office, Viacom has trademarked the word "slime".

    Huh. What product classes does that trademark cover? If it even tangentially brushes against "computer games", someone should involve Square-Enix, Nippon Ichi Software, Idea Factory, and countless other JRPG publishers. If it's for TV, movies, etc., then Studio Ghibli, Bandai Namco, Toei Animation, and other Japanese animation companies may be interested as well. Those two fields tend to involve a lot of slimes (and I'm not talking about lawyers and MBAs... this time).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Aug 2018 @ 1:46am

    Lawyers, finding ways to keep their retainers... crushing dreams, 1 child at a time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tom (profile), 25 Aug 2018 @ 4:08am

    I think Slimer needs to start haunting the Viacom offices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2018 @ 5:01am

    Accept ALL the trademarks!

    After applying to trademark "Slime Princess" earlier this year, Katharina received a letter from Viacom opposing the trademark. According to the New Zealand Intellectual Property office, Viacom has trademarked the word "slime".

    Slime.

    They managed to get a trademark on slime.

    I see the USPTO is facing some hefty competition in the 'Granting monumentally stupid trademarks' category.

    Hopefully the girl and her lawyer can get enough money to challenge and either kill off said monumentally stupid trademark, or at least send Viacom running once they realize that's what they face happening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2018 @ 4:52pm

    At some point the patent offices and their employees need to start getting held to a higher standard than they are. It is idiotic what people can trademark. Slime existed long before Nickelodeon ever used it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 25 Aug 2018 @ 8:55pm

      Re: Higher Standards

      Yes, that is a general refrain here at Techdirt. I'm expecting another post soon about San Diego Comic Con's massive con of a federal judge about "Comic Con" as a TM.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Aug 2018 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      At this point any standard above 'if it's submitted approve it' would be an improvement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fuligo septica, 25 Aug 2018 @ 10:40pm

    Slimey

    Imagine that, a media company behaving just like me, Fuligo septica.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Close
Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.