Keroche wins copyright infringement suit against rival [Business Daily (Kenya)]
(Business Daily (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Keroche Breweries Limited has won a battle to stop a rival company from manufacturing, advertising or selling an alcoholic product with a similar name to its Viena Ice.
Justice Jonathan Havelock last week allowed all prayers sought by Keroche in its application after Tona Millers, manufacturer of Viara Ice, failed to respond to the suit or even show up in court even after they were served through newspapers.
Keroche had moved to court last month alleging that Tona Millers infringed on its trade mark by launching and packaging its product in a similar bottle and name.
"I know applicant has complied with the orders of service. Despite the service through newspapers, there is no appearance for the defendant or response to the application. I therefore allow the application as prayed," ruled Justice Havelock.
Keroche claimed Tona Millers was manufacturing ready- to- drink Viara Ice, which is almost similar to its alcoholic drink Viena Ice.
The company had claimed that its product, which has been in the market for 13 years, will suffer if was associated with the Tona's product. Keroche says it invented Viena Ice making it intellectual property that deserves protection from infringement.
Last week, Keroche through its lawyer Lawrence Karanja told the court that it had unsuccessfully tried to locate the offices and manufacturing plant of Tona Millers. Keroche said even retailers who stocked Viara Ice did not have a clue as to the location of Tona Millers.
Keroche feared that it could face compensation claims from its customers who confused and used the Viara Ice and in the process suffer. The Keroche case is one of the several cases pending in court involving big brands fighting over trade mark, patent and intellectual rights.
Safaricom has faced multiple suits over copyright infringement among them the one filed by Micro lender Faulu Kenya which wants the mobile company stopped from trading on M-Shwari and a doctor, Dedan Warui who accuses the mobile service provider of infringing on his copyright.
Last week, New York listed Time Warner sued a local sweets manufacturer over the use of its cartoon trademarks.
The firm through its TV unit, The Cartoon Network Inc, wants Kenafric Industries Limited to be stopped from wrapping its sweets with packages branded BEN 10 –which is a flagship cartoon programme of the US giant.
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