Timbuktu Global trademarked the word “Yoruba” in 2015
A British fashion brand has come under criticism on social media for trademarking “Yoruba,” the name of an ethnic group in West Africa
Timbuktu, an outdoor clothing brand based in northern England, filed to trademark the word “Yoruba” in 2015, records from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office show.
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Although the registration sparked anger on Sunday when Gbemisola Isimi, the founder of CultureTree, an African cultural center in London, wrote that she had attempted to trademark “Yoruba Stars” and claimed she faced a opposition from Timbuktu due to its similarity to the phrase the company had registered.
In the United Kingdom, a proposed trademark can be challenged if it conflicts or bears similarity to one that was previously approved.
The Yoruba people are an ethnic group that inhabits western Africa, mainly the countries of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The Yoruba constitute around 35 million people in Africa. The vast majority of the Yoruba population is from Nigeria, where the Yoruba make up 15.5% of the country’s population, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa.