University of Otago kitchen chef Tracey Leishman with
cupcakes she made to raise money for the Red Nose Day
appeal in this 2013 file photo.
A New Zealand charity has lost its right to use the words
"Red Nose Day", after an Australian charity succeeded in a
four-year court challenge to have the Kiwi trademark revoked.
But Cure Kids, which raises money for research into child
illnesses through Red Nose Day in New Zealand, vowed to
appeal the decision and said the fundraising campaign would
go ahead as normal this year.
"We have owned the rights to Red Nose Day in New Zealand
since 1989, and we continue to do so," Cure Kids chief
executive Vicki Lee said.
"The Australians can do their own thing, in their own
country. Prior to this challenge that is exactly what has
always happened. We will appeal it to the High Court.
"From my point of view, the public don't want to see two
charities arguing. It doesn't look good for either charity
but we feel that we have to defend our New Zealand rights to
this. And we will defend it."
Operating under the name SIDS and Kids, the National SIDS
Council of Australia - which funds research and support for
families of sudden infant death syndrome - applied to have
the New Zealand trademark revoked in 2010, when Cure Kids
brought back its Red Nose Day appeal after a 13-year hiatus.
In a decision this month, the Intellectual Property Office of
New Zealand (IPONZ) found in favour of SIDS and Kids because
of Cure Kids' "non-use" in the three years before 2010.
Ms Lee said the motive of the Australian charity was unclear.
SIDS and Kids chief executive Leanne Raven would not respond
to questions from the Herald yesterday.
SIDS and Kids succeeded in its revocation application as Cure
Kids didn't run the Red Nose event between 1997 and 2010. The
final three years of that "non-use" period are at the heart
of the IPONZ decision.
"We've run it all these years before, we've put it on hold,
we've brought it back," said Ms Lee. "It's disappointing and
frustrating ... "
Last year, the Red Nose Day to Cure Kids appeal - which
culminates in a televised comedy event each year - raised
In recent years, Red Nose Day has featured appearances from
Kiwi stars such as Sonny Bill Williams, Jono and Ben, and
Flight of the Conchords.
Cure Kids funds research into the treatment and cure of
diseases affecting children.
The appeal was important in funding treatments for sick
children, said the mother of 10-year-old Cure Kids ambassador
Jorja Sharp, who suffered burns as a child.
Louise Sharp said Red Nose Day helped raise awareness and
money for research into children's illnesses.
"It's a huge contribution that the public are aware of, for
"It's visible for every mum and dad on the street, as well as
SIDS and Kids held its first Red Nose Day in Australia in
Cure Kids held its first Red Nose Day in New Zealand in 1989.
Between 1997 and 2010, Cure Kids did not run a Red Nose
In 2010, SIDS and Kids applied to the Intellectual Property
Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) to have Cure Kids' trademark
IPONZ found in SIDS and Kids' favour this month.
Cure Kids says it will appeal the decision to the High Court.