Artist Health, Legal Drama

Saran Kaba Jones Face of Africa v Isaac Boateng’s Face2FaceAfrica: LOVE DRUNK ON “FACE Africa” Can Somebody just FACE Africa Already?!

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Many times  I think I am the only one who thinks certain things, till of course I log online and see woosah! there are people who share some of my rad thoughts. I won’t drop names. Yesterday I did my usual routine, get up, get ready for work. Eat breakfast, check all news, read emails etc. then go to work which could range from being in court all day to what have you. In any event, I l got to the email part and saw an email from Face Africa. I honestly thought, “Hmm . . . an email from Face2Face Africa?” It was a bit of a surprise because this particular email address (yes I have tons) I stopped sharing a while back with the public. In any event,  I clicked through and it was the familiar and pleasant email from Saran Kaba Jones of FACE Africa. Both organizations have been featured on my platform Ladybrille. I try to support young African entrepreneurs in the diaspora because united we stand and divided we will always fall.

In any event, I signed out and later logged on Facebook and lo and behold Ernest Danjuma . . . how do I describe Danjuma? He is a self proclaimed “most interesting man in the world.” I am unsure he is related to the rich Danjumas in Nigeria or is he? If so I need to be really cool with him o! In any event, all jokes aside, Danjuma voiced the exact thing I was thinking.

This article came instantly in my head. What’s really good people?! Why the love drunk on ‘Face Africa?!” Can somebody, one person, just FACE Africa already? Is this a Face me I Face you situation. Let me make it unequivocally clear that as these two brands continue to grow, someone will have to change their name. The inevitable brand confusion is already happening. LET’S GERRIT FOLKS!

WE ARE TALKING TRADEMARKS, NAME COPYING, DUE DILIGENCE AND ALL THAT GOES WITH IT.

I present four companies and then you all get to give them your best advice, not legal advice o! You need a license to give legal advice o!

Industry people that have followed me and just my fans in general, you all are business savvy and very smart so I know you have valuable input. I also provide some resources to aid you in your input.

COMPANY #1: Face2Face Africa, OFFICIAL LAUNCH DATE 2011

CEO: Isaac Boateng

Industry: Online Publishing/Media and potentially print publishing

Country: Ghanaian-American

Profile: Face2Face Africa  launched, officially, barely six months ago. About a  month prior to the BET Awards, F2fa honored Bisila Bokoko, Angelique Kidjo, Ngo Okafor and Lilian Blankson (BET International employee responsible for the African names you see on BET Awards International category.)

Since Face2FaceAfrica’s launch, the young, dynamic  company, courtesy of Blankson, had the exclusive coverage of the BET Awards 2011. While there, they got the chance to rub shoulders with some few good black American celebrities while covering our African artists. The coverage of the BET Awards, their FACE List Awards,  along with the support of the online blogging and social media community, mine (Ladybrille) included, has helped brand their names slowly but surely in the minds of Africans, while they position themselves to work with non-African owned brands. You gotta hit your home base first before going to others.

COMPANY #2: FACE OF AFRICA, LAUNCH DATE  2008

Executive Director: Saran Kaba Jones

Industry: Non-Profit Charity Organzation

Country: Liberian-American

Profile: Saran Kaba-Jones is a go-getter. No doubt about it.  Her brand is definitely a recognized brand within and outside the African community. American and African celebrities from Whitney Port to Dikembe Mutombo and everyone in between has supported and continue to support her as she is determined to make FACE Africa known across America. She is currently chilling with the big names at the Clinton Global Inititiave and has been raking awards left and right.

COMPANY#3 MISS FACE OF AFRICA USA, LAUNCH DATE 2010

Owner: Kobi Appiah

Industry: Non-profit Charity Organization . . . it looks like

Country: Ghanaian – American . . it looks like.

Profile: Fresh new pageant event still really trying to take off. Appiah registered his/her trademark in March 2010 but the mark was abandoned. This means there is no registered trademark for this brand.

COMPANY #4 FACE TOFACE AFRICA, LAUNCH DATE  about 2009, looks like

Owner: Karen Ande and Ruthann Richter

Industry: Publishing

Country: USA

Profile: FacetoFaceAfrica, the book and website. Now, there are two Americans who have written a book called FacetoFaceAfrica Children of tehe Aids Crisis in Africa and also own a website called Facetoface Africa. Karen Ande and Ruthann Richter. They also own a publishing company and their url is facetofaceafrica.com.

NOTE: None of these four companies appear to have a registered trademark. If that is the case, why they don’t have a registered trademark in place to avoid all of this facing, facing of Africa beats me.

YOUR ASSIGNMENTS

I charge i.e. bill for these kinds of work, so I “ain’t finna” do all this work for free, sorry. But, since this is supposed to be interactive, and you could provide good advice to these young entrepreneurs who will read this, who do you think should change their names and why?

TO AID YOUR ANSWERS, HERE ARE RESOURCES  YOU NEED:

1. Eva the rapper v. Eva the Singer case.

2. The Chris Aire Trademark Lawsuit Against Louis Vuitton

3. The T.I Trademark Infringement Law suit

Now of these four, all USA based companies, who should change names?

a)Face2FaceAfrica (magazine publishing)
b)Face Africa (Charity organization)
c)FacetoFace Africa (publishing company)
d) Miss Face Africa USA (Charity organization)

HEY YOU GUYS WHAT ABOUT 2FACE?! SHOULD WE ADD HIM IN HERE? 🙂 I am feeling his song Chemical reaction remix like you don’t even understand. His music will provide the background excitement we need here. So, check on it!

Cheers,
Uduak

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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4 Comments

  1. So After reading all 3 cases, and knowing Saran, my unbiased pick is ALL BUT FACE AFRICA need to change their names. I have seen how much work and effort Saran and FACE Africa have put into helping and making a change. I feel like they are piggybacking on the brand of FACE Africa (Especially Face2Face Africa, 2011 Launch Date). First time hearing about them I really though Saran made a name change

    1. Africamusiclaw says:

      Thanks for the input Dipo! 🙂 n nLove some of your articles on Amebor.com by the way. 🙂 n nCheers, nUduak

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