Updated: May 9
Chile, if this doesn’t show you the importance of protecting your intellectual property…I don’t know what will.
Nick Cannon, is an American comedian, rapper, and television host for shows such as: Wild 'n Out, America's Got Talent, Lip Sync Battle Shorties and The Masked Singer.
One show that he is best known for is Wild’n Out.
Recently, Nick Cannon was fired from ViacomCBS after he made certain remarks on the podcast, Cannon’s Class. The company said, “While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him”.
After a few days from being let go, Nick Cannon spoke about his ownership of the brand, Wild ‘N Out. In a Facebook post, he said, “I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise”. “I demand full ownership of my billion dollar “Wild ‘N Out” brand that I created”.
Just because he demands ownership, doesn’t mean that he will receive it.
On March 1, 2019, Viacom filed for trademark ownership of the name Wild ‘N Out in the area of “Entertainment services in the nature of continuing program series, featuring live action, comedy and drama provided through cable television, broadcast television, internet, video-on-demand, and through other forms of transmission media; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs”.
Since this trademark was filed over a year ago, one could argue that Viacom had already planned to let Nick Cannon go, but was waiting for the right time to do it. His remarks on the podcast provided the perfect opportunity to do so.
Based upon Nick Cannon’s demand for ownership, it appears this application was filed unbeknownst to him. He said “based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me”.
Wild 'N Out began in 2005. So really, Nick had 15 years to get trademark ownership to the Wild 'N Out brand. This is very interesting to see that a business mogul of such high caliber didn't take the time to file for trademark ownership.
Don’t let this happen to you! We have seen time and time again where a creative doesn’t protect their brand and business from the beginning and ends up getting taken advantage of later on. Depending on the provisions in his contract with Viacom, Nick may be able to receive recourse. But only time will tell.
In the meantime, protect your intellectual property!