Kenyans' anger about Disney's use of 'Hakuna Matata' raises trademark questions

Kenyans have expressed unhappiness with the Walt Disney Company registering the term "Hakuna Matata" for its Lion King merchandise.

Some newspapers went as far as to accuse the company of stealing from Kenyan culture by claiming ownership of the phrase.

But when can one actually register a trademark for sayings and expressions that have been around for a long time?

Mariette Du Plessis, a partner at Adams & Adams says that the phrase been used by Disney since 1994 and was trademarked by the company in the United States. She was unable to clarify whether the phrase could be used by Kenyan companies.

She says most brands use a trademark in order to make their brands stand out from the rest.

It is really to express the emotion behind the brand and for consumers to understand more of what that brand stands for.

Mariette Du Plessis, partner at Adams & Adams

To hear the rest of the conversation on trademarks, listen below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Cheryl Carolus testifies at the State Capture Inquiry

Cheryl Carolus testifies at the State Capture Inquiry

'Gigaba would misrepresent some facts and speak badly about the SAA board' says Cheryl Carolus.

Eskom is not sustainable, warns its Chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Eskom is not sustainable, warns its Chairperson Jabu Mabuza

Eskom – and therefore all of South Africa – is in deep, deep trouble. Bruce Whitfield interviews Chris Yelland of EE Publishers.

 'UK parliament could reject Brexit, it could go back to the people'

'UK parliament could reject Brexit, it could go back to the people'

Richard Swart says there is a huge division in the ranks of all political parties and the UK parliament could reject Brexit.

#FillUp trademark is not registered, it's still pending- Lawyer

#FillUp trademark is not registered, it's still pending- Lawyer

Partner at Spoor And Fisher Carl Van Rooyen explains how trademarks work and the process of registering one.

What does Absa and Black Panther have in common?

What does Absa and Black Panther have in common?

Africanacity! That’s what. Or so it wants us to believe. Bruce Whitfield interviews Gibs marketing expert Professor Nicola Kleyn.

'New' antiseptic TCP not the same as the original you grew up with

'New' antiseptic TCP not the same as the original you grew up with

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says TCP we grew up with as a remedy for infections and cuts, isn't the same as TCP now on sale.

The surprising history of some well known products

The surprising history of some well known products

A successful business develops a product that will be popular with its customers. These originally were not.

Popular articles
Dozens of families evicted from Kraaifontein farm

Dozens of families evicted from Kraaifontein farm

Plass senior researcher Dr Farai Mtero explains what the law says about evictions.

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

The inspiring South African choirU2's Beautiful Day at America's Got Talent quarter-finals.

Want to get rich? Got R100? You don’t need millions to start

Want to get rich? Got R100? You don’t need millions to start

Bruce Whitfield interviews Anthea Gardner, author of "Make Your Money Work for You: Think Big, Start Small".

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

Magda Wierzycka – Sygnia’s renegade CEO – on her attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

The reason for the leakage has been revealed, explains Table Mountain Aerial Cableway MD Wahida Parker.

'CR17 leaks have damaged Ramaphosa's political integrity '

'CR17 leaks have damaged Ramaphosa's political integrity '

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni weighs in on President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC election campaign.

W Cape traffic chief: Stay close to other motorists on N2 to stay safe

W Cape traffic chief: Stay close to other motorists on N2 to stay safe

W Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa says private security working with the department is helping curb the stonings on the highway.

Were missing SA men victims of Vietnamese organ harvesting syndicate?

Were missing SA men victims of Vietnamese organ harvesting syndicate?

Gift of the Givers fears two South African men who went missing in Vietnam may have fallen prey to an organ harvesting syndicate.