The Federal Trademark Registry has revoked all documents issued to actress Anne Njemanze in respect of brand ownership of the movie ‘Domitilla’.
The ruling followed a tough battle between the actress and veteran filmmaker, Zeb Ejiro, over the rightful ownership of the 1996 classic, ‘Domitilla’.
The movie follows the story of a young woman struggling to make ends meet as a Lagos prostitute. It starred Ms. Njemanze as the lead character and other actresses like Sandra Achums, late Ada Ameh and Kate Henshaw.
The actress reportedly trademarked the name “Domitilla and Device” on September 16, 2020, and later approached the trademark registry to register the name.
But Ejiro approached the registry, and prayed it to quash the trademark.
Delivering judgment on the dispute, the registrar Shefiu Adamu revoked all documents issued to the actress, adding that she acted in bad faith.
He said, “The petitioner (Ejiro) has been using Domitilla for a long time, even the respondent acted in the film named Domitilla for the petitioner.
“The respondent/applicant had acted in a series of films for the petitioner, Section 22 of the Trademark Act is quite explicit.
“Therefore, the Registrar of the Trademark has the statutory power to correct any error in connection with the application of trademark
“The application of the respondent (Njemanze) is hereby refused, the tribunal cancels any document that might have been issued to the applicant, they were all issued in error.
“The applicant acted in bad fate, and with this, the petitioner’s claim is upheld.”