Vuvuzelas revolt in church over patent rights claim

2010-01-23 00:00

THE Shembe church faces another internal revolt over its threats to claim intellectual property rights over the use of vuvuzelas during this year’s soccer World Cup as some members of the church have said it has no right to stake such a claim.

The church recently threatened court action against traders in vuvuzelas, saying they are infringing on the intellectual property rights of the church because the origin of the vuvuzelas can be traced to a trumpet, called imbomu, which was used by the church.

Landile Shembe, who described himself as one of the Shembe family members, said any potential legal action over the use of the vuvuzelas will only serve to embarrass the church as it cannot claim the rights over the plastic horns.

He said the imbomu, which they said was the precursor of the vuvuzela, has its origins in the Jewish community where a similar instrument was used in praise and worship.

“Despite the strong similarities, there are, however, distinct differences between the two,” he said.

“The imbomu is long and it’s steel, whereas the vuvuzela is short and it’s plastic, so clearly you do not need to be a lawyer to realise that their argument is never going to hold in a court of law.”


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