Nairobi News

GeneralHustleLifeMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

L’Oreal founder and world’s richest woman applies to trademark ‘Bazu’

The world’s richest woman, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers of the L’Oreal cosmetics empire, has applied to trademark the term ‘Bazu’, which is also associated with media personality Willis Raburu.

The use of the slang term ‘Bazu’, popularised by Gen Z, is used to refer to a wealthy individual and/or a person of means, great influence or of high social class or stature.

In March, the phrase gained more prominence when Raburu hit the headlines after he was awarded Sh6.5 million by the court in a copyright dispute with Airtel Kenya. Raburu had accused Airtel Kenya of using the phrase ‘Bazu’, which is part of his trademark, to promote one of its bundles, ‘Bazu bundle’, without his consent.

Under the Trade Marks Act, Cap 506 of the Laws of Kenya, there are 45 classes under which a company or individual can apply for a trade mark. Raburu’s trade mark, No 116744, is registered under the International Classification of Goods and Services for Advertising and Telecommunication Services.

L’Oreal, the French multinational that acquired Kenya’s Nice & Lovely brands through its subsidiary L’Oreal East Africa Ltd, has applied for the trademark ‘Bazu’ in the field of cosmetics, perfumery and toiletries.

In the latest edition of its monthly journal, the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (Kipi) says the application was filed by L’Oreal on 6 February 2023.

“BAZU is ‘Boss’, Respectable, Influential, Loved by his people and ‘Inspirational Hustler’,” L’Oreal said in the application.

According to a spokesman for Kipi, Justus Ondari, L’Oréal’s application for the same phrase trademarked by Raburu is in order.

“There are 45 classes of trademarks, categorised according to the product, as provided by the law. If you want to trademark a name in a juice product, it’s not the same as having the same name as a trademark in the education category because they are different classes,” the spokesperson explained in a call with Nairobi News.

However, Mr Ondari noted that a company or individual can own a trademark exclusively by registering it in all classes.

“When the late President (Daniel) Moi’s family applied for the trademark ‘Kabarak University’, they registered the phrase in all 45 classes,” the spokesman added.

The 78-year-old Meyers, ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest woman, is the largest shareholder in the London-listed cosmetics giant and also serves as its chairman.

Read more