“Hakuna Matata” name trademarking efforts by The Walt Disney has hit a Snug. Besides, through ongoing Social Media backlashes and petitions, the Disney fate awaits unraveling. Moreover, by any means, if you were in Kenya today, you’ll experience some chills. Just like any literary thinking Kenyan, mothers of the time perhaps would evenly consider naming their newborns “Hakuna Matata.” After all, you’ll catch up with the ongoing online petition named “Disney robs Swahili – Hakuna Matata” stats Here!
What is a Trademark and Service Mark
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the particulars source. Especially, the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design identifying brand particulars. Also, it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Including brand names, slogans, and logos. The term “Trademark” is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademark and service mark.
Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set term of years. Trademark originates from the actual “use” of the specified particulars. And, as long as the trademark continually appears in commerce indicating the source of goods and services. However, trademarking and service marking could incur drawbacks if faced with lawsuits and public petition. At time galvanizing and prohibiting the use of the proposed trademark and service marks.
Even though trademarking is a legal requirement process, registration is not solely mandatory. Moreover, you could establish “common law rights” in the mark based on its use in commerce without a registration. However, federal registration of a trademark with the USPTO has several advantages. Including a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark. It is also a legal presumption of ownership nationwide. And with the exclusive rights to use the trademark alongside the goods or services registered forth.
The Walt Disney “Hakuna Matata” Trademarking
With this in mind, by registering “Hakuna Matata“, The Walt Disney Company enjoys long-lasting benefits affiliated to the name. Records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicate that The Walt Disney Company has owned “Hakuna Matata” since August 8, 1994.
The Walt Disney recently renewed their Trademark “Hakuna Matata” after the 10 years period. It is registered under Class 25 for Clothing, Footwear, and Headgear under serial number 74558335. It was granted the trademark vide registration number 27006605 for use on clothing. As a matter of fact, the phrase cannot be used by any other organization. Particularly in America without written permission from The Walt Disney Company.
“Hakuna Matata” Online users Petition
According to the Online Public Petition Administrator and Zimbabwean activist Shelton Mpala, The Walt Disney allegedly robbed Swahili of “Hakuna Matata.” Hakuna Matata is a Swahili language phrase from East Africa. Translated, it means “No Trouble“. The word “Hakuna” means “there is not here” while “Matata” means “Problems” as stated by the Petitioner. According to the Petitions Page, “Hakuna Matata” has been used by most Kiswahili-Speaking countries. Such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and Congo.
However, according to lawyer Liz Lenjo, while this may baffle Kenyans, there is a logic behind the trademarking.”The essence of trademarks is to protect where creativity is applied to language, symbols, colors, numbers to brand a product or goods or services, ” Liz said through the Word Is. This means that in the countries selected by Disney for protection, nobody else can brand T-shirts “Hakuna Matata.”
The Lion King – Hakuna Matata Disney Film
Disney Animation Studio used its first words in the animated film The Lion King-Hakuna Matata seven years ago. According to statistics from Box Office Mojo, The Lion King film has made $968m worldwide. Forbes said the franchise, including the successful stage production, had grossed $8.1bn, more than all the Star Wars films combined. You can Watch the film Video Trailer Below.
At the same time, the producers have released a remake of the animation film in full High Definition. Who wouldn’t like such a highly anticipated work of creativity by The Disney World? A Live-action concept under the merit title of “The Lion King.” The remake film stars Beyoncé and featuring a meerkat-and-warthog duo singing a song that includes the phrase. The remake Trailer is streaming live through YouTube. You can catch a glimpse yourself on the video clip below.
Tabling the Facts in accordance with Trademarking Regulations
Even though it has been used by most Kiswahili-speaking countries, it is unlikely to single out ownership. It is time for the petitioners to realize that Language is part of a large global network albedo. Obviously, language is a medium of communication that unites two parties from different origins and background.
Division in ambiguous and witty efforts
Some Kenyan blogs and newspapers have accused the company of stealing from Kenyan culture by claiming ownership of the phrase. However, the trademark they’re talking about is itself not new as illustrated herein. The debate appears to have intensified after a column in the Kenyan newspaper Business Daily noted the “pilferage of African culture over the years, through the use of intellectual property rights.”
Generally speaking, in such a case, it may relate to fighting for a raindrop in an ocean. As a Bilingual, you’ll blend in more easily and ease communication by all means while meeting new people or even transacting business(es). In this case, it’s more audible to campaign on having Kiswahili as a Language for the Nations. And not just for a unified community or even ethnic margins. By so doing, all the parties at stake would find it easy communicating. Particularly in Kiswahili with the people where it originated from depending the inter-bonding relations.
As Liz further explained, Kenyans and any Kiswahili-speaking nation can use “Hakuna Matata” phrase. Especially in a music video, film and fashion designs without infringing on Disney’s trademark rights. Even though it will most likey not infringe on the context of the use of the phrase and the territory.
Irrelevant Contextual Argument by the Petitioners
According to the petioners, the use of the phrase is predicated purely on greed. In the event that it is an insult not only to the Spirit of the Swahili people but also, Africans.Which further makes the decision to implement the trademark a perplexing one. Follow the petitioner’s affiliation page to see more Here!
Worldwide trademarks in relation to the Context
The Burbank entertainment giant isn’t the only U.S. company to trademark the expression. A wedding company in South Florida and a New York-based maker vitamins and dietary supplements also hold trademarks on specific uses of “Hakuna Matata.”
A previous search was conducted at the Japanese patent office database covering 1984 to date. Results findings discovered only existence of industrial weaving of baskets. Inclusively, some made of fabric or paper materials.”That means kiondo basket suffered no exclusion in the Japanese market,” said Sylvance Sange. The article findings are found in his research paper titled Kiondo idea theft: An intellectual property myth. You can check other listed cases through the Daily Nation online column titled, Kenya’s best kept brand theft myth.
The trademarking of “Hakuna Matata” by Disney does not mean that the company owns the phrase, or that it can ban anyone from using it. Disney filed the trademark upon the release of the original movie for clothing or footwear it sells in the United States, as a way to protect itself against other companies that might try to exploit the Disney brand. Feel free to share your thoughts and contributions through the comment box provided below this column. If you have further inquiries, questions and or suggestions, please Contact Us!