Popular Nigerian skit maker, Sabinus, has sued Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc – producers of Peak Milk – for the use of his famous ‘something Hooge’ phrase.
A notice sent to the Company by the content creator’s lead counsel, Stanley Alieke, noted that the phrase was a registered trademark; yet, Friesland Foods used it to advertise their products without Sabinus’ authorisation.
Sabinus is demanding a payment of N500m for the unauthorised use of his intellectual property.
He is also demanding another N500m for the “emotional, physical, psychological and mental trauma our client has suffered for the trademark theft and the infringement of his intellectual rights property.”
On May 24, Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc used ‘Something Hooge is coming’ to advertise their ‘Peak National Breakfast Week’ project ahead of the World Milk Day on June 1.
The lawyer for Sabinus stated that the post gathered massive traffic and engagements, and attracted huge followership to the company’s Instagram page because his client’s image was used for the promotion and advert.
Mr Aliete noted that “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.”
In a separate development, Sabinus is also demanding about N100m from another company, UAC Food Ltd.
The company has been accused of using the content creator’s ‘likeness’ — an animated image of him — and some other intellectual properties to advertise their product ‘Gala Sausage Roll’ without consent from him.
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,” part of the notice written to the company reads.