Comment: Who owns the vuvuzela?
The unique sound of the vuvuzela will be one of the abiding memories of the 2010 World Cup. But, ask Richard Plaistowe and Toby Smith, who owns the IP rights to it?
The sound of the vuvuzela horn has been a defining feature of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, causing demand for the instrument to shoot up around the world. Therefore, whether or not vuvuzela is a trade mark owned by its South African manufacturers is an issue with significant financial implications, both for South Africa and manufacturers and retailers seeking to cash in on the instrument's popularity.
The disputed ownership of the vuvuzela in South Africa
Carl van Rooyen of Spoor & Fisher has discussed the disputed ownership of the "vuvuzela" trade mark in South Africa is his article "Doubts raised over vuvuzela trade mark". Masincedane Sport, a South African company that has manufactured plastic vuvuzelas since 2001, has applied to register Vuvuzela as a South African trade mark, but this application has been opposed.
It is not clear who the opponent is, but a candidate might be the Nazareth Baptist Church,...
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