By Rita Esegine
The Trademarks Registry of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, has withdrawn a trademark application by the immediate past National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Executive Secretary, Mr. Paul Ikonne, to use already registered name; ENYIMBA FM ABA, for a commercial radio station operation in Aba, Abia State.
Trademarks Registry, also wrote to notify the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), that it has discovered that ENYIMBA FM ABA which was legally registered by Rethink Media Network Ltd for its radio station operation in Aba, is being illegally used by one EMPAU Communication Ltd, believed to be owned by the ex-NALDA Boss, Mr. Paul Ikonne.
A notification letter dated 25th July, 2022, signed by Ogunbanjo A.T for Trademarks Registry to the Director General of NBC, made available to newsmen in Abuja, revealed that NBC had earlier in a letter dated 15th July, 2022, sought the Trademarks Registry clarifications upon its finding that two different companies were authorized to use the name ‘Enyimba Fm Aba’, for commercial radio station operation in the same city and State.
Trademarks, in its response on the matter stated; “referring to your letter dated July 15, 2022 on the above stated matter (Use of “Enyimba FM as Trademark by Two Different Companies Licensed by the Commussion), I am directed to inform you that investigation in this office has revealed that the application “ENYIMBA FM” by RETHINK MEDIA NETWORK LTD was first in time and was issued an approval based on a consent letter from Abia State Government through the State Ministry of Information.
“It is pertinent to state that the application “ENYIMBA FM” by EMPAU Communication Ltd was approved in error on the basis of a letter from Aba North Local Government, instead of Abia State Government which has the appropriate authority.
“Consequently, a letter of withdrawal of application of ENYIMBA FM has been dispatched notify EMPAU Communication Ltd of the withdrawal of the acceptance letter earlier granted in error.”
Also, in a withdrawal letter titled: “Withdrawal of Trademark Application number NG/TM/O/2022/60226 ENYIMBA FM”, by the Registrar Trademark, which was received by Prince Paul Ikonne, on 26th July, 2022, the agency clearly notify EMPAU communication Ltd; the withdrawal of its trademark application ENYIMBA FM NG/TM/O/2022/60226 in class 38.
Signed by Garba Abdulazeez, for the Registrar, the letter reads; “: “I am directed to inform you of the withdrawal of your trademark application ENYIMBA FM NG/TM/O/2022/60226 in class 38.
“The application was erroneously approved as it conflicts with ENYIMBA FM NG/TM/O/2021/44711 dated 26/10/2021.
“Consequently, the approval letter issued to you in respect of the application NG/TM/O/2022/60226 is hereby withdrawn and invalidated.”
Recall that one Rethink Media Network Ltd, a media company linked to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s former Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, last year publicize ENYIMBA FM ABA, as the name for its coming radio station in Aba, Abia State.
However, another company said to be owned by the immediate past NALDA Executive Secretary, Prince Paul Ikonne, last month started a new radio station with the same name.
Upon its notice of the abnormally, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), wrote the Trademarks Registry of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, to investigate and put the development to rest to avoid a breakdown of the law.
Meanwhile, the Head Public Relations of Rethink Media Network Ltd, Chigozie Joshua, recalled that after its application for a radio license was approved by the NBC, the Company on September 2021, approached the Abia State Government through the ministry of information, with an application for consent to use the name ENYIMBA FM for registration and establishment of a radio station in Aba as required by Trademarks Registry laws and guidelines, given that ENYIMBA is classified as a ‘Geographical Area’.
The Management further noted that approval was granted by the State Ministry of Information in September 2021, while the Trademarks Registry in October 2021, granted and approved the application of Rethink Media Network Ltd to use ENYIMBA FM in classes 38 and 41, respectively, for its radio stations operation in Aba.
Rethink Media further revealed that on February 2022, after the allocation of 93.5 fm frequency by NBC, it unveiled the stations name and logo as “93.5 Enyimba Fm” with its slogan as “…the peoples radio”, and also laid the foundation for the ultramodern radio station in Aba.
It was however revealed revealed that EMPAU Communication Ltd, got an approval from the Trademark Registry on the 17 of March 2022, with a consent letter from the chairman of Aba North Local Government Area Council, Prince David Chimehilura IKonne, on the 21 of March 2022, five days after the erroneous approval.