Court slams N500,000 fine against union over name, logo duplicates

Justice Musa Liman of the Federal High Court Bauchi on Friday ordered a union, the Centre for the Improvement of Traditional Qur’anic Schools in Nigeria, to pay a N500,000 fine for name and logo duplication.

Liman said that the money would be paid as damages to the applicant, the Incorporated Trustees of the Association of Masu Karatun Allo Na Tsangaya, Bauchi.

The judge held that the applicant is called ‘Incorporated Trustees of the Association Masu Karatun Allo Na Tsaganya, Bauchi’, in the Hausa language, and in English, it translates to the name ‘Centre for the Improvement of Traditional Qur’anic Schools in Nigeria, Bauchi branch.

“Which is the name used by the applicants for their own organisation, and the Hausa subtitle ‘Cibiyan Bunkasa Makaranta Tsangaya a Nigeria’, is the equivalent name of the first plaintiff in Hausa Language.

“The two names are confusingly similar, and if the Executive Governor of Bauchi State is vulnerable to the confusing similarity in the names of the first plaintiff and those of the defendants’ association, I could not find a better demonstration of the fact that the names of the parties are confusingly similar,” he said.

Liman held that the defendants had included the name, symbol, and trademark of the first plaintiff in all legal ramifications.

“I hereby unequivocally state that the name as well as the logo belong to the first plaintiff, and the defendants should not use the said name as well as the symbol of slate as their logo.

“I also award N500,000 in favour of the plaintiff to be paid by the defendants and this is the justice of the court,” he said

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Earlier, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim, told the court that the defendant was using the same name and symbol as that of his client, which confused the general public, both the elites and the unlettered.

He argued that the plaintiff approached the court for clarification, declaration, and direction as to how the name should be used and who is entitled to the use of the name. (NAN)

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