Atwoli moves to trademark viral "Alaa" slogan [Details]

You may soon have to get permission from Cotu Sec Gen Francis Atwoli to use the "Alaa" slogan.

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli during an interview with Jeff Koinange

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli has moved to own the exclusive rights for the use of the Alaa, Alaaa and Alaaaa viral meme.

This means you may soon have to get permission from Atwoli when the Kenya Industrial Property Institute approves his application.

According to documents from KIPI, the Cotu secretary-general intends to use the words in clothing, footwear and headgear.

"Alaa has no English translation. It is more of a slogan, chant or an exclamation specific and attributed publicly to myself,” Atwoli wrote to KIPI.

Kenyans who wish to contest Atwoli’s application have until December 29 to engage KIPI and will be required to pay at least Sh5,000. Foreign challengers will have to cough up Sh27,625 to contest the application.

Origin of the Alaa exclamation.

Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange has invited Atwoli to an interview on February 24, to discuss the Building Bridges Initiative and the 2022 General Election.

"I told you Jeff, I don't know who is going to be the President but I know who is not going to be the President, Alaa Alaa Alaa," Atwoli stated much to the amusement of Jeff who went on a break following the remarks.

The last bit of the quote has since gone viral and is widely used on social media to express shock or surprise.

What is a Trademark?

According to KIPI, a trademark is a distinctive sign, which distinguishes the goods or services produced or provided by one enterprise from those of another.

A mark includes any distinctive word, letter, slogan, device, brand-name, heading, label, ticket, name, signature or numeral or any combination whether in two dimensional or three-dimensional form.

A number of countries also allow the registration of less traditional forms of trademarks such as single colours, audible signs (sounds) or olfactory signs (smells).

Other countries have set limits to what can be registered as a trademark, generally allowing signs that are visually perceptible or can be represented graphically

Why are trademarks important?

While many people and businesses realize the importance of using trademarks to differentiate their products from those of their competitors, not all realize the importance of protecting them through registration.

Registration gives you the exclusive right to prevent others from marketing identical or similar products under the same or a confusingly similar mark.

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