Comedian Butita sues online shop for brand violation
Former Churchill Show comedian Edwin ‘Eddie’ Butita has moved to the commercial court to sue online shopping brand Mall of Africa for using his brand name ‘Eddie Butita’ to promote their Black Friday sale without his consent.
Butita is seeking up to Sh10 million in compensation from the online shop for using his brand without seeking his consent or paying him for the image rights.
Last month, through law firm MNO Advocates LLP, the comedian issued a demand letter to Mall of Africa demanding a written admission of their unlawful commercialisation of his brand and thereafter an engagement on the amount of compensation.
“On 22nd October 2020 in anticipation of the international Black Friday you exploited our client’s widely renowned brand to market your business and attract shoppers. While using our client’s brand, you posted promotional content on your social media platforms inviting buyers to visit and shop on your online shops during the Black Friday Extravaganza. You were cheeky enough to tag our client’s handles on all your social media platforms to give credence to your lawful use of his brand,” read part of the demand letter.
Mall of Africa responded to the comedian denying any unlawful act in their use of his name and also reportedly rubbished his demands for compensation prompting Butita to move to court.
“We are going to court. Currently we are processing court documents which we will be serving Mall of Africa in the next 10 to 14 days. We are seeking compensation for commercialisation of our client’s online brand to market their Black Friday sales without paying for it. We basically seeking damages for our client that could go up to Sh10 million,” said MNO Advocates LLP senior lawyer Okalle Makanda exclusively told Nairobi News.
Makanda said they will petition the court to compel Mall of Africa to produce their sales record during this Black Friday period that started on November 27 upon which they will use it to demand the millions in compensation.
The lawyer further argued that they had a strong case based on their evidence and the response from Mall of Africa.
“In the letter they argued that our client’s brand name isn’t a trademark hence don’t warrant any compensation or payment,” he added.