Legal action to the tune of 112.5 billion naira has been taken against MTN Nigeria for comedy brand Rights infringement.
The plaintiff , Femi Edwards, a content producer who focuses on events productions, promotions and marketing with specialty on comedy based the law suit on wrongful use of his comedy brand.
The suit to be heard in a Federal High Court in Lagos states that one of the foremost Nigerian communications outfit, MTN illegally used the plaintiff’s content and thereby generating billions of naira in revenue without recourse to the originator.
According to an online news portal, CommunicationsWeek, Edwards, who is trading under the name Mayphem International, said that in 2009, he started a print magazine to promote the comedy industry, called ‘KomicReloaded’ which he claimed was widely accepted by the industry.
The following year, he said that he rebranded it as ‘Comedy+’ and had been maintaining the brand ever since with sales outlets across Nigeria.
Using the success of the ‘Comedy+’ brand, Edwards said he went into the business of organising comedy shows and concerts nationwide.
He noted that over the years, the brand ‘Comedy+’ and ‘ComedyPlus’ have come to be associated with him as signifying publications, comedy shows, entertainment and other events produced, promoted or marketed by him, or with his collaboration in both physical and digital platforms, print and electronic media.
However, the plaintiff said on 17 March 2017, MTN launched a digital platform tagged ‘Comedy+’ where it advertised the intent to and where it has continued to wrongfully produce, promote, market and pass off comedy shows and other entertainment without recourse to him as the copyright owner of the brand.
Edwards said to his surprise, several comedy artists and members of the public had called to congratulate him on the launch of the digital comedy platform of MTN under the belief that he was the person behind it, adding that being a huge commercial enterprise, MTN wrongfully acquired mileage from a popular brand which he created, to launch into the budding comedy sector in Nigeria.