Following a cease-and-desist letter from the public broadcaster in January requesting that he refrain from using its trademark and logo, former Ukhozi FM sports presenter and businessman Owen Ndlovu has taken the SABC to the Competition Commission.
On January 23, a letter was delivered by the SABC to the former football commentator for Ukhozi FM.
This came about after the public broadcaster found out that Ndlovu was planning to use its trademark and logo to promote the summer song campaign.
Ndlovu did, however, present Sunday World with documents that showed he signed a 10-year contract with the SABC, which ends in 2027.
“After receiving that cease-and-desist letter, I immediately took the SABC to the Competition Commission because they were breaching our contract,” Ndlovu said.
“In 2017, my company, Michael Owen Productions, and the SABC entered into a trademark contract and even went to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission so that I could use the logo freely.
“The terms and conditions of our contract stipulate that it will be reviewed after three years.”
The SABC’s letter reads in part: “It has come to the SABC’s attention that you have been using trademarks to promote a certain summer song campaign and still intend on using the name and logo to promote your campaigns.
“Please be advised that the SABC trademark is registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, belongs to the SABC, and forms an integral part of the SABC’s intellectual property.
“Your potential continued unauthorised use of the SABC trademark has the potential to cause irreparable harm to the goodwill and reputation of the SABC, whose trademark vests in the SABC.
“Your use of the SABC trademark and purporting to be collaborating with the SABC is unlawful and misleading to the public.”
The letter reads further: “Be advised that your actions constitute an infringement violation of the trademark laws of SA, since you must be permitted to use a trademark.
“We hereby demand that you immediately remove the SABC trademark from the artwork on your Facebook page and cease any further usage of the SABC trademark and its logo in any manner, including but not limited to the further promotion of your campaigns.”