The Banjul Protocol, Schweppes and a first-of-its-kind decision in Uganda: Legal Updates from Africa and the Middle East you may have missed

WTR’s Legal Updates are written by a select panel of over 160 leading experts who analyse the latest trademark-related developments and decisions in more than 60 jurisdictions.

The Banjul Protocol, Schweppes and a first-of-its-kind decision in Uganda: Legal Updates from Africa and the Middle East you may have missed
How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back
27 May 2021

How covid-19 has hit anti-counterfeiting in Africa and what brand owners can do to fight back

The Long Read: The pandemic and related effects of lockdown have had a big impact on the continent’s IP ecosystem. Vanessa Ferguson at Von Seidels runs through some of the most significant upheavals and sets out what rights holders should do to safeguard their brands.

Legislative changes and key decisions from the Middle East and Africa region analysed
3 May 2021

Legislative changes and key decisions from the Middle East and Africa region analysed

Each quarter we will be running a series of pieces presenting recent Legal Updates that you may have missed. For our next instalment we turn our attention to the Middle East and Africa.


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20 Jul 2021

High Court issues landmark decision on industrial design infringement

This is first time that the High Court of Uganda has considered the issue of the infringement of industrial design rights. Read more

10 Jun 2021

Amended trademark regulations come into force: key points highlighted

Uganda's Trademarks (Amendment) Regulations No 9/2021, which came into effect on 14 May 2021, has brought about some welcome changes to the provisions of the Trademark Regulations 2012. Read more

29 Mar 2021

Covid-19’s impact and amended Trademark Regulations - what you need to know

This update provides a brief overview of the effects of the covid-19 pandemic in Uganda and gives a peek into the recently amended Trademark (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Read more

26 Oct 2020

Uganda launches National Intellectual Property Policy

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


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4 Aug 2020

Royal Family trademark feud; Uganda joins TMclass; counterfeits seized in Zhejiang – news digest

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. Read more

8 Jul 2020

Enforcement in Africa: key qualities of a continent-wide brand protection strategy

WTR traverses the whole of Africa to provide brand owners with a comprehensive guide to brand protection across the region. Read more

17 Mar 2020

Trademark procedures and strategies: Uganda

Uganda does not allow owners of unregistered trademarks to institute proceedings for the prevention or recovery of damages. Read more

2 Aug 2018

Parallel imports remain a grey area for IP rights in East Africa

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda each have different legal approaches to the treatment of parallel imports, making generalisations dangerous for trademark owners and importers alike. Read more

Brand management

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1 Oct 2019

Trademark licensing in Africa: an A-Z whistle-stop tour

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

6 Oct 2017

Jamie Oliver dispute highlights certification risks; experts say new EU right creates opportunities for canny brands

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver hit the headlines when his online recipes were accused of infringing a US certification mark. The lawsuit coincides with the recent introduction of EU certification rights.

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6 Oct 2017

IP attorney rock stars, NFL partners with London Police and French protesters see orange over plain packaging: news round-up

In this round-up, we look at the fourth country to bring into force plain packaging on tobacco products, a trademark technology start-up’s €3 million in new funding, and much more. Read more

20 Mar 2008

Decision in MEKAKO Case has significant implications for brand owners

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.

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Enforcement and Litigation

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11 May 2018

Counterfeiting in Africa: part two of an A-Z guide

In part two of our A-Z guide to the anti-counterfeiting framework across Africa, we look at problems and solutions from Nigeria to Zambia. Read more

15 Aug 2016

Venturing into Africa: law firm opportunity and risk in an evolving IP landscape

For this week’s blog post from the <em>WTR 1000</em> research team, it is timely to consider the current state of trademark protection in Africa.

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19 Jul 2011

High Court considers when infringement and passing-off actions prescribe

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.

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18 May 2010

Long-awaited Trademarks Bill passed by Parliament

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.

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Portfolio Management

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9 Dec 2019

Confusion over non-use and assignment of associated marks in East Africa

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. Read more

31 Mar 2016

The principle of territoriality in trademark protection

The High Court case <i>Nairobi Java House Ltd v Mandela Auto Spares Ltd</i> is a precedent-setting decision that takes a fresh look at the principle of territoriality in trademark protection.

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9 Mar 2011

Flexible specifications and convention priority claims now allowed

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.

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22 Oct 2010

New Trademark Act comes into force

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.

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Trademark law

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15 Jul 2009

Ninth Edition of the Nice Classification adopted

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.

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17 Jun 2008

Bic awarded damages based on inconvenience

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.

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16 Nov 2007

Injunctive relief and damages granted for infringement of NICE

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.

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19 Jul 2005

Ignorance of exclusive licence saves importer of counterfeit KIWI polish

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.

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