Northern Canola Growers trademark 'Biola'

By | April 25, 2007
The Northern Canola Growers Association is awaiting approval of its application to trademark the name "Biola" for biodiesel fuel that is made exclusively from canola and meets ASTM D 6751 specifications. At press time, the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office said the canola growers group should expect a decision by May, according to the association's Executive Director Barry Coleman.

The Bismarck, N.D.-based group obtained a state trademark for the name late last year and then applied for a U.S. trademark. In December, it introduced the Biola name and logo at a forum in Minot, N.D. The Northern Canola Growers represents members in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.

Coincidentally, the Canola Council of Canada, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, also applied to trademark the Biola name in the United States, believing that the Northern Canola Growers Association had only applied for a state trademark. Coleman said the trademark office denied the Canadian group's request in March after the Northern Canola Growers Association's request had been received. Therefore, the Canola Council of Canada withdrew its request.

The Biola name can be used by anyone selling canola-based biodiesel that meets the ASTM D 6751 specifications, Coleman said. "If [a gas] station wants to market it under the Biola name to show it has a higher value, it can sublicense the name from us," he added. A trademarked name will differentiate canola biodiesel in the marketplace, show its good attributes and help to sell the product, he said.

The Northern Canola Growers Association and Canola Council of Canada continue to work together to promote canola oil for food and fuel.
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