Ayo ‘Wizkid’ Balogun, a Nigerian singer, may be on a collision course with The Weeknd, a US-based Canadian singer, over the latter’s attempt to own the Starboy name.
According to TMZ, The Weeknd’s lawyers have moved against an attempt by a certain Eymun Talasazan to trademark ‘Starboy’.
The Weeknd was associated with Starboy for the first time, publicly, in 2016 when he used the name as the title of his hit single and album.
However, Wizkid had been using Starboy as his moniker years before he set up Starboy Entertainment in March 2013.
At the moment, it is not quite clear if The Weeknd is planning to trademark the name in the US — if he has not done that already.
Should the singer go ahead to trademark the name, it will directly affect Wizkid, who performs regularly in the US.
Similarly, if Wizkid has filed a trademark for Starboy in Nigeria, it will ultimately stop The Weeknd from using the name should he visit the country for a performance.
A US trademark registration does not protect a trademark in a foreign country. Trademarks are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought.
But there is a way around it for The Weeknd.
International trademark registration can be done through the Madrid Protocol, an international treaty that allows a trademark owner to seek registration in any of the member countries.
Through this process, a trademark can be filed in one’s home country and later extended to other jurisdictions throughout the world.
Nigeria is not a member of the Madrid Protocol, putting Wizkid at a disadvantage.
Given that both artistes regularly perform in Europe using the Starboy name, there is also bound to be a form of friction.
Again, there is a way around it, this time, for both singers.
Either of them, if not done already, can apply for a community trademark which allows the applicant to register its trademark throughout the European Union in one application.
No matter how Wizkid and The Weeknd approach the matter, a ‘Starboy’ clash appears imminent.