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Friday, December 8, 2023

Pop Cola in Fresh Patent Scandal with NFF, Super Eagles

Pop Cola in Fresh Patent Scandal with NFF, Super Eagles

Kano-based new carbonated soft drink brand, Pop Cola, has again found itself facing another patent-related scandal, this time with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

NFF accused Pop Cola of engaging in ambush marketing through illicit usage of Super Eagles’ brand images for media advertorial.

NFF on Sunday, the 16th of January, 2022, said “We have seen one company calling itself ‘PopCola’ and intentionally using the Super Eagles’ group photo for newspaper advertisement, and relating it to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

“It is a dastard move and they should be ready to face a legal battle if they do not tender public apology within the next 48 hours and desist from such chicanery. Another company calls itself ‘Trophy’ and did a similar ambush and deceptive advertising intentionally.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Coca-Cola is the official soft drinks partner of the NFF and the Super Eagles and the company and brand with the legitimate right to identify with the team. This is the company that has kept faith with the NFF and the Super Eagles during good and tough times and should reap where they have sowed.

“In the same vein, Nigerian Breweries PLC is the company and 33 Export is the brand that can so identify with the Super Eagles as the official beer. This company and the product in question have done tremendously well in sticking with the NFF and the Super Eagles through thick and thin.

“We will not sit idly while undeserving businesses are trying to identify with the team because it is doing well, at the expense of those worthy corporates who have collaborated and partnered with the NFF over the years.”

NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire added that the Federation will not take kindly to further acts of ambushing or intentional deceptive advertising from individuals or businesses that have not contributed in any way to the team’s preparations for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations or previous championships and tournaments for that matter.

“The NFF is indignant at the activities of companies that are involved in this unwholesome business. We have noted those who have ran foul of the fine tenets of marketing and have briefed our lawyers accordingly. Any further infractions will simply complicate matters for such businesses and corporates.

“Some corporates and organizations chose to partner with, and collaborate with the NFF for the good of the National Teams and we recognize, appreciate and applaud their investments and efforts. We will not keep quiet while their rights are being stealthily hijacked by some businesses who have no prior relationship with the NFF or the Super Eagles.”

In November, 2021, Coca-Cola Bottling Company was at the court Federal High Court in Kano with Mamuda Beverages Nigeria Limited, the producers of Pop-Cola over trademark infraction. (Read more about Coca-Cola and Pop Cola court matter here)

Coca-Cola said “the defendant (Mamuda Beverages Nigeria limited) is distributing and advertising its Pop-Cola products in get up that consists exclusively of a combination of all of the elements that comprise the applicant’s famous Coca-Cola trade dress.”

It added that “The defendant’s use of the trade marks ‘Ribbon device’ and ‘Pop-cola’ in special script amounts to an infringement of applicant’s right of exclusivity of use of the marks ‘coca-cola’ script and ‘dynamic ribbon device’ and is liable to create confusion to the general public, foreign and international, as to the likelihood of an association between the Applicant and the Defendant.”

The matter is still in court.

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