Not welcome in this town

The man who trademarked the phrase, “Welcome to Parry Sound”


Cody Storm Cooper

After trademarking the phrase “Welcome to Parry Sound,” Nick Slater, owner of an Internet service provider in the Ontario town, began invoicing local groups using the greeting on their websites, among them the Town of Parry Sound, the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame (which the town, the hockey great’s birthplace, owns), and the non-profit Parry Sound Snowmobile District. When the $1,000 invoices persisted, the recipients consulted a lawyer, who advised them not to pay. Undeterred, Slater brought a $23,000 small-claims suit against the snowmobile club and threatened the town with the same.

The gambit has angered many locals. Some have posted crude signs with the greeting on their lawns. Dan Payerl, a real estate broker, hoisted his (“Working for you from sign up until sign down”) in front of his business, kitty-corner from Slater’s. “There are certain social rules in small towns,” he explains. Randy Higgins, a retired corrections officer, launched “Welcome to Parry Sound” as an anti-Slater Facebook group, and watched it surge to 2,400 members. Slater countered by sending Higgins a $1,050 invoice—a $1,000 trademark fee, $50 GST—and then filed a trademark complaint with Facebook that prompted the site to close the page.

Despite that victory, trademark experts say Slater, who describes himself as “over 50,” has little chance of success (his complaints are directed at instances of the phrase as a greeting, not a trademark). Even Nick’s father Ronald seems unsure of the wisdom of his approach, and recommended in a letter to the local paper addressed to Nick that he “explain your various positions.” “My friends say he’s an engineer, not a diplomat,” says Ronald. “But I do trust my son.”


Not welcome in this town

  1. Nick slater can kiss my a$$

  2. another Donald Trump. "you're fired"! oh yeah, that didn't work for him either

  3. Slater even has Facebooks owners cowering in a corner due to threats of legal action. What ever happened to freedom of choice,opinion and free speech in this country? Many men and women on both sides of our border bravely gave their lives so that we all had FREEDOM!

  4. As a life long resident of the Town of Parry Sound (coincidentally I'm over 50 as well Mr. Slater), I feel that I've earned the right to welcome whoever I wish into what is MY home town! I say to everyone, "WELCOME TO PARRY SOUND"!!!

    • When is someone in authority actually going to stand up to this guy? I am actually baffled that he has facebook on the run.

  5. We have had direct , positive feedback from our local MP, the Honorable Tony Clement, who also happens to be Canada's Minister of Industry, under which the Canadian Intellectual Properties Office falls. We are confident that this matter is being looked into and that the Canadian government supports us in our protest against this dubious trademark and the unlawful attempts to profit from it from those who are using it as a simple greeting rather than a trademark..

  6. It's important to note that what Mr. Slater is attempting to do could set a dangerous precedent in other communities.
    Be aware that others may try this same tactic in YOUR hometown!

    • Actually you should hope this expands and that other people do this, it will bring the whole Intellectual property, copyright, trademark, patent issue to a head. It is something that is very needed.

  7. Please help support our fight against this ridiculous issue!

  8. WECOME TO PARRY SOUND……..sue me you idiot!

    • thank you and ‘Welcome to Parry Sound’ to you too!

  9. perhaps if mr slater HAD served his country he would have a better grasp of the meaning of free speech, not to mention how hard the fight was for that right.

  10. This is terrible. It's like trademarking Peace on Earth. How can you tell businesses and a city that they can't welcome people to their own town?

    • You tell them with a lawsuit….Nick Slater style.We can only hope Slater and Zeuter Development both go down in flames in the courtroom.

  11. Court case between Zeuter Development / Nick Slater and the Parry Sound District Snowmobile club will be held on July 20TH at the Parry Sound courthouse. I would believe the case will be transferred to federal court as it is federal court that deals with trademark infringement. It's either that or the judge will throw this ridiculous case and Slater out on their proverbial ass. Let us hope that justice and common decency prevail!

  12. If the law is properly applied there's no way this guy can win. Trademarks do not confer property rights over words or phrases.

  13. Victory is ours!The case was thrown out of small claims court and subsequently dropped altogether by Slater. He was advised that he had a hope in hell of winning!

  14. It’s unbelievable that Nick Slater is still sending out invoices to the creator of the facebook group Welcome to Parry Sound, despite the fact that it is 100% non-commercial use, so there simply is no trademark infringement.

  15. exactly how long has this looser been in Parry anyway? does anyone know? my guess is he doesn’t even belong!