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Young Practitioner Spotlight: Faridah Saliu-Bello

Published: October 7, 2020

Mari-Elise Paul Stites & Harbison PLLC Louisville, Kentucky, USA INTA Bulletins—North America Subcommittee

Faridah Saliu-Bello

Faridah Saliu-Bello, Banwo & Ighodalo, Lagos, Nigeria

While she works in all types of intellectual property (IP), Faridah Saliu-Bello’s love of her trademark work is apparent. So is her concern about online infringement.

Ms. Saliu-Bello is an associate at Banwo & Ighodalo, a full-service commercial law firm in Lagos, Nigeria. Her typical workday involves reviewing her clients’ IP portfolios to assess whether opportunities exist to further commercialize their assets, regularly updating clients on these matters, and keeping up with general developments in Nigerian IP law.

In addition, she advises on and assists with the prosecution of trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, and patents; assists clients with registration of their products with the required governmental authorities; and advises on data protection. While Ms. Saliu-Bello enjoys the variety in her daily work in IP, she is passionate about trademarks.

Ms. Saliu-Bello appreciates brands that go the extra mile to come up with unique, catchy, and meaningful slogans. Her favorite slogan comes from Tesco, an international grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in the United Kingdom. Its slogan: “Every Little Helps.”

Online infringement holds particular importance for Ms. Saliu-Bello. “I think the most important and maybe the most obvious issue in trademark law today is trademark infringement … [particularly] issues that are faced related to the prosecution of infringers in the digital age,” she said.

“There are e-commerce platforms that allow unidentifiable individuals [to] sell products with little to no inspection of the products that are being put up for sale,” she said. “The implication of this is that consumers purchase a product from a platform (with little to no information about the exact vendor), and it is only after payment (and in unfortunate cases after use) that they realize that they may have purchased or used counterfeit products and are unable to locate the infringer.”

Given the critical impact of counterfeiting, Ms. Saliu-Bello volunteers as part of the Unreal Campaign to educate young consumers about the dangers of purchasing fake products. And though not a member, she also frequently attends virtual events put on by the Young Practitioners Committee.

Although this young practitioner was eager to attend her first in-person Annual Meeting in 2020, she is now looking forward to attending the educational sessions, networking, and growing her contacts at INTA’s all-virtual 2020 Annual Meeting & Leadership Meeting in November.

“The decision [by INTA] to move the entire meeting online is laudable, as it gives a large number of people the opportunity to attend,” she said.

While she no longer goes into her office daily because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Saliu-Bello said she has developed a comfortable routine of working from home. However, she is looking forward to when the world returns to normal and she can attend INTA events in person and conduct in-person—rather than virtual—Unreal Campaign presentations in local schools.

Ms. Saliu-Bello shared that while she spends most of her time working, in her spare time she likes to watch movies and take Zumba fitness classes.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2020 International Trademark Association