Charlie Teljeur: We all need to relax a little
|By Charlie Teljeur - Contributing Writer | August 10, 2017|
So the court of public opinion has spoken out loud and clear, and as usual it was a lot of vitriol and bluster.
The story I'm speaking of is the gentleman from Minden who decided to trademark the name “Haliburton," which, as most of us have just recently found out, is not permitted by law. Still somehow this one went through.
Local residents, of course, were up in arms over this massive injustice. You can't trademark a place (truthfully most of us have just discovered this) and this individual was all set to make us all pay for what, living here? Using the name? Saying the name? Let's all calm down a little.
First off, if there's any anger to spread out anywhere, it needs to be towards the bureaucracy that allows the system to circumvent its own rules. Someone was obviously asleep at the switch and when I say “someone”, there are a lot of people who slept through this. You can't simply trademark a name by passing unmarked bills to someone in a darkened alley (I believe). There's a procedure. It's published. It's public. And if it truly is, then there were a lot of people busy not keeping an eye on something like this.
And the bad feelings towards the individual himself? I have no idea how much he knew about what he was doing. Did he know he acquired the trademark “illegally”? I have no idea, but you can't naturally assume that he was going to take us all to the cleaners. Furthermore this person, who runs a business called The Haliburton Store no less, may simply have been looking for a competitive advantage. If he can corner the market, he will. And did. In all honesty, you can't fault him for that.
I think what irks me most though is the moral indignity and superiority some many people feel in situations like this. The Holier Than Thous I guess you could call them. It's the same posture they take when commenting on things like Omar Khadr or Karla Homolka. Now before you get your fur up please note, I am not equating what this gentleman did to either of those two. I'm also not damning them. The point I'm trying to make is that any anger you feel shouldn't be directed to Omar Khadr for getting that government apology and payment, or at Karla Homolka who, as heinous and disgusting as her crime was, served her time (she's theoretically a “free” woman) or at this person who found the loophole/incompetence in the system. Your anger needs to be directed to the system itself and the low standards it sets.
These “injustices” only happen when a system exists, or ironically doesn't exist, to curb these types of things. It's that simple. Don't make it personal.
Thing, is, when it's all said and done this person chose to – for whatever reason – relinquish the trademark to the local powers that be. In effect, we could say that he did the “right” thing. Rest assured that if this had happened in a larger, more anonymous area than Haliburton County this injustice would be going on a lot longer than this.
So relax. It's over. Save your energy for something with much more at stake.
Charlie Teljeur is a contributing writer for The Highlander.