Cross River New Logo : The Logic And The Law Of Its Rejection

Some persons are trying to dismiss discussion or comments on the Cross River State new logo as unnecessary and making a mountain out of a mole hill. I disagree. If the Governor considers it important enough to pay a purported consultant with state money to design a new logo for the State, then citizens and members of the public should comment on the logo. Saying it doesn't matter is an attempt at emotional blackmail.

One comment about the logo that gave me fits of laughter was that that compared the new logo with the governor's favourite colour of dressing. It's like the designers' only consideration was to create a logo that suits the governor's best colours and not colours that will project the state in good light.

"Red is the colour of extremes. It's the colour of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. Our prehistoric ancestors saw red as the colour of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces – and most of red's symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past." There is a certain kind of diabolism the red colour invokes, especially when it is used so extravagantly as it was used on the new logo. The whole logo is 98% red! Wuuuuu... Shivers!

The Proposed New Logo

Then the Bull...

"The bull symbolizes fighting ability and male fertility while the symbol of the bull stands for valor and magnanimity ever since the prehistoric times.

The bull symbol represents heaven in Babylonia and Syria with the god of storm riding on its back. In Egypt it is a symbol of royalty and is sacrificed in religious rituals for millennia, associated with the sun, fire, resurrection, earth, water, night and even death. Since its blood is used in sacrifices, it is associated with the death of winter and the return of spring; they are emblems of death, tyranny, ferocity, brutality, stubbornness, lust, and the Devil.  In some cultures the violent earthquakes are caused since celestial bull is believed to carry the world upon its horns and at times gets rowdy."

With these dark meanings of the animal bull, I don't just understand what Cross River State is doing with a raging bull as it's symbol.

"In ancient times white bulls were chosen for sacrifice. White signified purity of course; the sacrifice had to be pure; one could not insult the deity with giving up imperfect goods. Only the best would do since that was a sign of one's sincerity; after all it is hardest to give up the best." Since a white bull is used for sacrifice, is Cross River State about to be sacrificed? Shivers!

This white raging bull in the new logo is not even willing to be sacrificed. Look at it, it's fighting. But the most frightening thing is what the bull appears to be fighting against in the logo. Look at it again. The white bull is surrounded by 18 stars, representing the 18 Local Government Areas of Cross River State; the 18 stars are arranged peacefully, unified... But see the bull charging at a section of the stars. It wants to break through, it wants to disrupt the unity of the stars. O my God, the bull is fighting the stars! Shivers!

Who is interested in disrupting our peace? Who is bringing this "...emblems of death, tyranny, ferocity, brutality, stubbornness, lust, and the Devil" to Cross River State? A bull represents fighting not enterprise and a raging bull, like the one we have on the logo, is war!

Existing Logo

Well, let's laugh it off and pretend all these diabolical and metaphysical connotations don't exist or don't even matter. We are too educated and exposed to be talking such rubbish na. Forgive me. Now, let's talk the law of it, at least that one can be verified through the physical and intellectual channels of knowledge.

The raging bull is the registered mark of Red Bull the energy drink and trademark owned by an Austrian company. So? So Cross River State stands the risk of being slammed with a multi billion dollar lawsuit that the great grand children of our grand children will still be paying by this time in the year 2117.

Trade mark protection is largely governed by the Trade Marks Act 1965 and the Trade Marks Regulations 1967. The Merchandise Marks Act 1956 creates criminal offences and imposes penalties on trade mark counterfeiters while the Trade Malpractices (Miscellaneous Offences) Decree 1992 also addresses the issue of trade mark infringement by imposing criminal sanctions on offenders.

It should be noted that the international classification of goods applies to the Nigerian trade marks Register. This classification of goods is listed in Schedule IV of the Trade Marks Regulations 1967.

"Nigeria acceded to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property and as such is classed as a convention country.

Infringement occurs where a person who is not a registered user, uses a mark identical to or so nearly resembling the mark that it is likely to deceive or cause confusion."

Let that logo be thrown into the dustbin of mistakes. Abeg, the logo no fine. Make una throw am, the metaphysical properties of the logo is ominous. Throw am abeg, it's an infringement on the trademark of Red Bull Energy drink.

Firsts Baba Isa (FBI) is a Legal Practitioner and writes from Abuja.
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