A Nigerian comedian, Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Ejekwu, popularly known as Mr Funny or Oga Sabinus, has threatened to sue Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc and UAC Foods over alleged intellectual property theft.
In a post on its Facebook handle on May 24, the beverage company used the phrase ‘something hooge’ to advertise its product, Peak Milk.
Addressing the company through his lawyer, Stanley Alieke, the comedian noted that the phrase was his registered trademark and therefore, demanded N1 billion in compensation and damages.
He further threatened a lawsuit if the brand failed to comply within two weeks from the receipt of the legal notice.
“Our client briefed us and we believe the same to be true that your Company, Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc, used a trademarked slogan ‘Something Hooge’ for the promotion of your Peak Milk product,” the legal notice dated May 27 read.
It continued, “The advert which was made on the Peak Milk Nigeria verified Instagram page (peak_milk) was posted on the 24th day of May 2022 which was used to promote the Peak National Breakfast Week.
“It will interest you to know that the phrase ‘something hooge’, which was popularised by our client, has been trademarked and legally reserved as his intellectual property by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.
“The said slogan was trademarked on the 26th of November 2021 with the file number: NG/TM/O/2021/48316. 10. On this note, we make the demand for the payment of the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500m) as compensation for the unauthorized use of the intellectual property belonging to our client.
“And another five hundred million naira for damages for the trauma; emotional, physical, psychological, and mental trauma our client has suffered for the Trademark theft and infringement of his intellectual property rights.”
Meanwhile, UAC Foods allegedly used the animated image of the comedian in an advert for the Gala sausage roll.
The notice reads, “Your company UAC Food Ltd. has been using the brand picture and other intellectual properties of Sabinus to make adverts for your Gala sausage roll without the consent or authorization of our clients.
“You made a post on your verified Instagram handle (gala sausage roll), on the 23rd of May, 2022 with the picture of our client. The post which was a cartoon of our client was captioned ‘the way I calculate everything in my life’.
“We demand that you pay our client the sum of one hundred million naira (N100m) for the use of the picture which is the average fee our client charges for his picture to be used for adverts and promotions.”