With that in mind, it's unsurprising to see attempts to ride on the coattails of these film industry brands for various entrepreneurial ventures. [Is it wise to build a brand with 'Hollywood' or 'Hollywood Effect' nicknames? Is there brand equity to be had from these names?] Indeed, one can decide to name his/her coffee shop 'Nollywood', and even go as far as obtaining a trade mark for it - if others aren't already using it as a registered or unregistered trade mark. However, trade mark law and practice principles tells us that it would be quite different and difficult when it is to be used for films and associated products and/or services such as marketing - online or offline. We equally know that trade mark practices differ from one jurisdiction to another: for example, in Europe, a trade mark might be descriptive in one Member State but distinctive in another. It all comes down to what consumers perceive: what does the mark say about the goods or services or where they come from?
Mr Fawole’s piece suggests that the Nollywood community in Nigeria expressed concern about this development. Nevertheless, it isn't surprising that an individual had to take it upon him/herself to secure his/her rights, since the current fragmented structure (e.g. here and here) makes it difficult to figure out who should take action. [Afro Leo draws this Leo's attention here to see what concerned individuals do to bring down a trade mark in the USPTO]
This 'Nollywood' trade mark dispute may well become yet another example to demonstrate why initial legal advice (or even representation), from a suitably qualified IP lawyer, is imperative before going ahead with registering IP rights.
NB:The comment section is currently disabled until the end of the cancellation proceedings