A Reader’s Question for Helene de La Moureyre of ‘Bilum’

The Bilum Saga Continues

Dear Helene de La Moureyre,

You wrote, “… the word BILUM is a valid French trademark which was registered by the French Intellectual Property Registry in august 2005.”

Registering the word BILUM as a trademark in French in 2005 does not, in any way or form, solve the issue at hand.

In fact, registering BILUM as a trademark in French complicates the issue furthermore.

How and why?

1. Because the word BILUM is not a traditional or native word in le langue des français. [I live in French, I know the language.]

2. So, the question to you is: Where and how and why did the trademark owner choose the world BILUM as its trademark?

3. Since there is no word in the français vocabulary for BILUM, how in the world are you (or your group of 3 persons) engaged in making bags; which conveniently means BILUM in Papua New Guinea tok pidgin language?

4. Your engagement in making bags from whatever source is NOT a coincidence under the trademark name BILUM! Period.

5. PNG does not and should not accept your apologies.

6. In fact, we demand that you de-register the BILUM trademark off the French Intellectual Property Registry.

7. If this is not done by December 2009, I will be advising the PNG Embassy in Brussels to take the matter up with the French Embassy, the EU in Brussels, as also to the to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) who is responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property throughout the world, including Papua New Guinea.

8. Bilum is a growing, grassroots industry which involves 99% women. It has great export potential for Papua New Guinea. We already have PNGean’s making and selling bilums overseas.

9. Your registration of the BILUM trademark and, engagement in making bags, is not a “simple misunderstanding” that can be swept under the carpet with an apology through this website.

Papua New Guinean,
Geneva, Switzerland
07 August 2009


If you haven’t been following T&D and are out of the loop regarding the above issue, click here to read about the poaching of the PNG bilum and click here to read the French firm Bilum’s initial response.

~ by Tavurvur on August 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “A Reader’s Question for Helene de La Moureyre of ‘Bilum’”

  1. Full Support! a well written letter too!

  2. This (bravely-anonymous) person does not seem to grasp the original concerns here…and it is not a well written letter at all. It is full of venom and extremely tardy in it’s application.
    The Bilum name is, and has been for years, Registered in France, and despite the fact that the writer lives in “French” he has signed off as a resident of Geneva, Switzerland.
    As previously explained
    (Point 2.) Helene chose the name after seeing a genuine PNG bilum as a child, and the resultant product she now manufactures, assumed that name as an inspiration.
    (Point 5.) I think is a bit of a major presumption, in that the writer has determined that he/she is speaking on behalf of all PNG’eans, and refuses to accept that apology from her as the official hei-apparent to the throne of PNG, whilst living in some form of exile.
    (Point 8.) Someone needs to get off their backside/s then, and do something to promote and register the PNG Bilum industry on a more global level.
    In summary…why doesn’t the writer do something like that..perhaps even produce cheap copies of YSL bags…that should get the French upset. No hang on, the Chinese already do that. Maybe some cheap copies of Patek Phillipe watches..? …nope they already come out of Hong Kong…tsk, tsk. You might just have to think of something else to poach from them.

    Rick Brittain

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