Budget airline kulula.com on Wednesday warned advertisers that it would commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorised use of the word “SkyTM“.
The move comes following widespread unauthorised use of images of the SkyTM, kulula’s primary place of business.
The company will be undertaking a communications programme with advertisers, media owners and major sporting event organisers, to educate them on what would constitute a breach of the trademark and what is reasonable usage.
“South African advertisers have for too long assumed that because of our fun, irreverent brand, we’re not serious about protecting our substantial assets. kulula’s trademark is defined by its operating space and so the rules apply to images or reference to the SkyTM between 10 000 and 35 000feet above sea level. Any images of the SkyTM between these two distances are not permitted to appear in any media or marketing and special permission to use SkyTM will need to be applied for,” said Heidi Brauer, Comair’s executive manager for group marketing.
“The trademark also covers words or visuals that are synonymous with the word SkyTM or directly make reference to it at any height.
However, images of the SkyTM, CloudsTM or RainTM as a secondary feature in marketing materials will be permitted provided that the section of the SkyTM represented is below or above the restricted air space,” said Habeeb Majut, senior partner at Majut and Sons.
“Whilst protecting our brand we recognise that we have to be responsible and reasonable in our use of trademarks. Any use of SkyTM, AirTM OxygenTM under 10 000 feet is perfectly acceptable. We have to leave room for marketers and media to breathe after all, as long as this doesn’t cost us money through erosion of our brand,” Brauer added.