Atwoli Wants Rights to Exclusively Own 'Alaa' Slogan

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    COTU boss Francis Atwoli speaking in Tana River County on Monday, July 19, 2021
  • The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has written to the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) seeking ownership rights for the words 'alaa.'

    In his application, Atwoli wants to have exclusive use of the words which he uttered during an interview on a local TV show in February 2021.

    If the application goes through, one will need to get permission from the COTU boss to use the words for branding purposes.

    COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli Addresses the Press on Sunday, October 10 ,at Golf Hotel Kakamega
    COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli Addresses the Press on Sunday, October 10 ,at Golf Hotel Kakamega.
    COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli

    "'ALAA' has no English translation it is more of a slogan, chant or an exclamation specific and attributed publicly to myself," reads an excerpt of the application.

    Those who wish to challenge Atwoli's bid to trade mark the words have until December 29, 2021, to file their application.

    They will be required to have Ksh5,000 for the local opponents or Ksh2,500 for foreign opponents.

    According to KIPI, a trademark is a sign which serves to distinguish the goods of an industrial or commercial enterprise or a group of such enterprises.

    "The sign may consist of one or more distinctive works, letters, numbers, drawings or pictures, monograms, signatures, colours or a combination of colours," reads KIPI's website.

    The words 'Alaa' went viral for the better part of 2021 after Atwoli's exclamation during live TV show.

    On the show, the COTU boss kept evading the question on the political aspirations of the Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga in the forthcoming 2022 General Elections.

    "I told you Jeff, I don't know who is going to be the President but I know who is not going to be the President, Alaa Alaa Alaa," Atwoli stated.

    It is the last bit of the quote that went viral, being shared multiple times on social media platforms.