Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, said she has trademarked her first name in caps ‘OMOTOLA.’
A registered trademark gives a brand or individual the exclusive rights to identify a product or service with that name and bars others from copying or using it.
The 43-year-old movie star broke the news on her social media pages.
“Omotola is now trademarked,” she simply wrote.
A curious follower, who is her namesake, asked her if trademarking her name meant that no other Omotola can use the name as a brand name anymore. Other followers followed suit seeking clarification on the development.
She said, ‘‘Hi namesake. You can bear with pride and enjoy our special name however, you cant have a business in Entertainment with the name Omotola. You can also only call me Omotola without my other names. So sorry but you could have beat me to it.”
What the law says
In order for a trademark to be registrable under Nigerian law, the mark must contain one of the following: the name of a company, individual, or firm represented in a special or particular manner; the signature of the applicant for registration or some predecessor in his business; an invented word or invented words.
The word or words must have no direct reference to the character or quality of the goods, and not being according to its ordinary signification a geographical name or surname; any other distinctive mark.
Reacting to the news, an international entertainment lawyer, Akinyemi Ayinoluwa, told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday that the name Omotola is too generic and not distinct in any way.
He said, ‘‘I believe that name on its own is generic and can’t be reserved solely for one person. She needs to add her surname. Like Mohammed Ali. Mike Tyson. Michael Jackson. Michael Jordan. Bob Marley. Etc
”One of the conditions you must fulfill when seeking a Trademark is that the mark and name sought to be protected must be distinct and distinguishable from many other names and marks. There is nothing distinct about a common name like Omotola.”
Ekeinde is a Nigerian actress, singer, philanthropist, and former model.
Since her Nollywood film debut in 1995, she has appeared in over 300 films.
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