Pilane to oppose UDC mark registration

13 May 2019

The leader of Botswana Movement for Democracy, Sidney Pilane has said he will move swiftly to stop ongoing attempts by the leader of Umbrella for Democratic Change, Duma Boko to patent either in full or in part the UDC logo to himself.

It has since emerged that Boko has applied with CIPA (The Companies and Intellectual Properties Authority) to get some aspects of the UDC brand patented to him personally.

Sidney Pilane said as BMD they have a vested interest in what goes on inside the UDC as shown by their ongoing efforts to get expulsion declared null and void.

When asked if he had been made aware of any such efforts by Boko to patent some parts of the UDC brand to himself, Pilane said it was news to him.

“I am shocked beyond words,” said Pilane.

He said Boko doesn’t have the UDC authority to do that.

“He didn’t ask for permission and no permission was given,” said a clearly shaken Pilane.

Allowing Boko to patent any such aspects of the UDC brand would by law give him exclusive rights which could complicate matters were he to leave or for any reason be expelled from the UDC or from the position he currently holds.

If Boko gets the patent rights, the UDC would only be able to use the said symbols after getting express permission from him through writing.

“Now that we have found out, BMD is going to object to it [patent application]” said Pilane.

He said BMD’s objection to Boko’s application will be lodged at the earliest time.

“This is vintage Boko,” said Pilane. “We had no idea about this happening,” he added.

The leader of Botswana Peoples Party, which is also a contracting member of the UDC, Motlatsi Molapisi said by his understanding the patenting registration was to be made in favour of the UDC as a collective and not Boko alone.

“If it is made to Boko, then I don’t understand. In our meeting reference was made to CIPA. But it was always our understanding that it would be for the collective,” said Molapisi.

He referred further questions UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa.