What An IP Lawyer Said About Mr Funny Suing Peak Milk And Gala

    By Emeeyene Henry (ntellectual Property Rights Consultant)

    It’s currently trending that Sabinus has sued Peak Milk and Gala for Infringement of his intellectual Property Rights.

    Like i have stated here several times, phrases and slogans can be protected as trademarks to prevent others from using same.

    I have seen a copy of an Acceptance document which shows that Sabinus did infact register the Trademark for the words ”Something Hooge”.

    However, it most be noted that Trademarks are registered and protected in classes. Each Class of Trademark registration covers some particular line of businesses.

    Looking at Sabinus’ s Acceptance letter in circulation, it shows that the mark was registered in Class 36, which is the class for financial Services and Real Estate.

    You can only claim that your mark was Infringed if it was used in the same line of businesses listed in the class in which the Trademark was registered in. The only way to prevent this from happening is by registering in all the Trademarks Classes.

    Friesland Foods is a company which makes food or diary product, using the words “Something Hooge ” in marketing their product does not amount to an Infringement in my opinion. Food products do not fall under class 36.

    It would have been a different issue if a Bank or a Real Estate firm used the slogan ”Something Hooge” in their advert.

    On the issue of alleged Copyright Infringement of his picture, from what i am seeing online , it seems it was a cartoon character that was used and not his real picture.

    Making a caricature of a person and using same is an exception to Copyright Infringement under Fair Use. It is called the Parody or Pastiche rule of exception.

    In the light of the above, Sabinus cannot claim any Copyright Infringement as the Law allows the use of Parody or carricature as exceptions to copyright Infringement.

    P. S: i am wondering why he chose to register his trademark in class 36, one would have thought that he would have registered it in the class for Entertainment since he is a Commedian.

    It is very important to always consult an IP Lawyer on the best way to protect your Intellectual Property Rights.

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