"According to Light Years IP - an NGO which specialises in securing intellectual property rights in developing countries - about 80 companies around the world are currently using either the Maasai image or name.Such exoticism is of course being exploited to further the company's image, but it hadn't occurred to me that the original warriors hadn't been consulted let alone given their permission. My question is about the name. The more common commercial use is the Masai spelling whereas as the article demonstrates the tribe itself utilises Maasai. That extra 'a' will probably become pretty important when when and if this comes to court.
"These include a range of accessories called Masai made for Land Rover; Masai Barefoot Technology, which makes speciality trainers; and high-end fashion house Louis Vuitton which has a Masai line, including beach towels, hats, scarves and duffle bags."
Commerce Brand Maasai: Why nomads might trademark their name:
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2013