In our latest round-up, we look at how Microsoft’s bid for TikTok is still on the table, Victoria Beckham launching on Tmall Global, Kappa Japan (and associated IP assets) being sold, Monster Energy in a dispute with Bang Energy, and much more.
Rights holders in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are reaping the benefits of associated trademarks. However, a lack of relevant case law means that legal provisions concerning non-use and assignment of such marks are leaving many scratching their heads.
Uganda has officially launched its National Intellectual Property Policy, which sets out the country’s strategies with regard to IP rights with the aim of achieving its socio-economic development goals. Read more
In <i>Société Bic Anonyme de Droit Français v Wenbara Trading Company Ltd</i>, the High Court of Uganda has awarded Société Bic Anonyme de Droit Français NUSh10 million in damages for inconvenience caused by the legal suit. This counterfeiting case was relatively straightforward, but it is arguably the first time that a Ugandan court has awarded damages based on inconvenience.
In a criminal trademark infringement case, the Magistrates' Court in Kampala has acquitted the defendant, a local businessman. The court found that there was no proof beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had knowingly infringed the KIWI mark for shoe polish. The decision was strengthened by the fact that the co-complainant had failed to register its exclusive licence to sell KIWI products in Uganda with the registrar.
With Africa proving to be a particularly lucrative region for brands seeking licensing opportunities, we examine what rights holders need to know about trademark licences from a swathe of nations across the continent. Read more
In <i>Anglo Fabrics (Bolton) Ltd v African Queen Ltd</i>, the High Court has held that African Queen Ltd infringed Anglo Fabrics (Bolton) Ltd's registered trademark MEKAKO and passed off its medicated soap products as those of Anglo Fabrics. Among other things, the decision has significant implications for brand owners acquiring or disposing of their trademarks.
In <i>Vitafoam (U) Ltd v Euroflex Ltd</i>, the Uganda High Court has considered whether a claim based on passing off and trademark infringement had prescribed because the complaint was brought before the court more than six years after the alleged unlawful activity had commenced.
The Ugandan Parliament has passed the Trademarks Bill. One of the most significant amendments is the possibility to register service marks. Although the passing of the bill is to be welcomed, it is felt that the bill could have gone further, especially in terms of the protection of trademarks on the Internet.
The Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, which represents private sector interests in the country, has called for tougher measures against counterfeiting. The demands of the foundation come against the backdrop of initiatives aimed at curbing counterfeiting proposed by the East African Community Secretariat.
Following intense lobbying from practitioners, the requirement that specifications of goods and services be worded exactly in accordance with the class headings as set out in the Nice Classification has been withdrawn. Moreover, the Trademarks Registry has announced that applications may now be filed claiming priority under the Paris Convention.
The new Trademark Act has entered into force. One of the most significant amendments is the possibility to register service marks. Service providers, which have waited for a long time for their brands to be protected, have welcomed this development. Among other things, applicants are now required to conduct searches under Section 5 of the act.
Uganda has adopted the Ninth Edition of the Nice Classification. Some practitioners interpreted this development to mean that service mark protection had become available in Uganda. However, the Ugandan authorities have confirmed that the law has not yet been amended to provide for service mark protection.
In <i>Nice House of Plastics Ltd v Lubega</i>, the Commercial Division of the High Court has held that the defendant had infringed Nice House of Plastics Ltd's trademarks NICE and NICE TOOTH BRUSH by importing toothbrushes bearing the marks into Uganda. However, the court found that a case of passing off had not been made out.