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Nigerian skit maker, Sabinus sues 2 companies for unauthorised use of trademark

Sabinus, a well-known Nigerian comedian, has filed a lawsuit against Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc, the makers of Peak Milk, for using his catchphrase “something Hooge.”

Stanley Alieke, the main attorney for the content creator, notified the Company that the term was a registered trademark; yet, Friesland Foods utilized it to advertise their products without Sabinus’ permission.

Sabinus is requesting N500 million in compensation for the unauthorized use of his intellectual property.

In addition, he is seeking an additional N500 million for the “emotional, bodily, psychological, and mental anguish” his client endured as a result of the trademark theft and infringement of his intellectual property rights.

On May 24, Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc promoted their ‘Peak National Breakfast Week’ campaign with the slogan ‘Something Hooge is Coming’ in advance of World Milk Day on June 1.

Due to the inclusion of his client’s photograph in the promotion and advertisement, the attorney for Sabinus noted that the post drew tremendous traffic and engagements, as well as a large number of Instagram followers for the company.

Mr. Aliete stated, “It may be of interest to you to know that the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has registered and legally reserved the phrase’something hooge’ as our client’s intellectual property.”

“The aforementioned slogan was trademarked on November 26, 2021, with the file number NG/TM/O/2021/48316. As compensation for the improper use of our client’s intellectual property, we hereby demand the payment of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500m).

In a separate development, UAC Food Ltd. is also being sued by Sabinus for approximately N100 million.

The corporation has been accused of utilizing the content creator’s “likeness” — an animated representation of him — and other intellectual property without his permission to sell their product “Gala Sausage Roll.”

Part of the warning to the company states, “We demand that you pay our client the sum of one hundred million Naira (N100m) for the usage of the image, which is the normal fee our client charges for his image to be used in advertisements and promotions.”


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