Legal Drama

Is this Confusing or What? Newcomer ELBEE Chooses Name Similar to Veteran Rapper ELDEE – Trademark Infringement

This issue keeps coming up in the music industry and I expect it will continue. Last time, I talked about Eva the Rapper v. Eva the Singer. Eva the Singer was there before Eva the Rapper. When Eva the Rapper, now signed to eLDee’s Trybes Record emerged, there was confusion on whether Eva the singer was now a rapper. Eva the singer made it easy. She changed her name to Evaezi and provided notice to all that she was now Evaezi.

Similarly, we saw Nigerian-British Nayo the singer vs. Nigeria’s Nayo the singer. Nayo UK gave notice that her name was already in use so Nayo Nigeria changed her name to Nayosoul.

Today, we have eLDee the rapper and now a newbie called ELBEE the rapper. Clearly eLDee is one of the most recognized names in Nigeria’s music industry. So, what exactly is the basis for ELBEE the newbie to try to reap off the benefit of eLDee’s name?

Artists, trademark your stage names. Ask Lady Gaga. You are not just using it as an artist. You are using it for expansion into other products or services including merchandising, publishing and so much more.

Also, if you see someone infringing on your trademark, don’t just sit there. Get your lawyers to send them a cease and desist letter asking them to stop further infringement, among other things.

For an indepth discussion on Trademark infringement specific to names, revisit my discussions with Eva the singer vs. Eva the rapper here.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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