Behold the Jacob G Zuma Foundation! During a trademark availability search, Mark Smith came across an interesting application.
Nothing is inherently strange or wrong with a charitable entity registering trade marks; for instance, Nelson Mandela’s various charitable interests have applied for almost 160 (and counting) in South Africa alone. But can President Jacob Zuma seriously be imagining himself another Nelson Mandela in the eyes of an adoring world?
A bit of background before the part where things get really strange. All trademark applications must be classified into one or more of 45 goods and services classes. These classes are pretty standard throughout the world, and are governed by an international treaty dating back to 1957, called the Nice Agreement (as in the city; nothing to do with how the signatories were feeling that day). The Nice classification is meant to cover all goods and services that a person or business (or charity) could possibly provide. (It gets updated from time to time.)