Region: Uganda

Uganda passes Trade Secrets Protection Bill

The Parliament of Uganda has passed the Trade Secrets Bill 2007. The purpose of the bill is to provide legal protection to undisclosed information in commercial transactions. The bill protects such information against unlawful disclosure, acquisition or use by third parties in a manner contrary to honest commercial practice.

29 January 2009

New Trademarks Bill published

Following a protracted review process spanning over five years, the government of Uganda has gazetted the Trademarks Bill 2008. Among other things, the bill introduces fines of up to 48 currency points (approximately $500) and/or a prison term of two years. The bill is due to be presented before Parliament in the near future.

07 October 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.

17 June 2008

Private Sector Foundation calls for stern measures against counterfeiting

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.

11 June 2008

Government to enact tougher anti-counterfeiting laws

Addressing an investors' roundtable at the end of March 2008, President Yoweri Museveni announced that the government is in the process of enacting tougher laws against counterfeiting in Uganda. The laws will aim to ensure that counterfeit goods are destroyed and that those who engage in counterfeiting activities are heavily punished.

29 April 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.

20 March 2008

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.

16 November 2007

African companies more eager to assert their IP rights

The High Court of Uganda is set to hear an interesting dispute over the alleged infringement of a Kenyan company's trademarks and get-up in relation to its paints business by a Ugandan company. The case is particularly noteworthy as it shows that increasing numbers of companies in East Africa are willing to take legal action to protect their brand names and IP rights.

13 February 2007

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.

19 July 2005

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