Win for firm in trademark row with State agency


Win for firm in trademark row with State agency

Eric Ogola
Justice Eric Ogola in a Nairobi Court. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court in Mombasa has quashed a decision by the Registrar of Trademarks to expunge a trademark belonging to a solar firm in a bitter dispute pitting the company against the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA).

Justice Eric Ogola quashed the decision made on September 3 last year, which rectified the register by expunging Uwin Investment Africa Company Ltd’s ‘GDLITE’ trademark from the register.

The judge also declared that the ACA’s decision to seize and detain two containers with Uwin Investment Africa Company Ltd’s goods bearing its trademark was unlawful and a breach of the company’s right to a fair hearing.

“The Registrar of Trademarks decision is tainted with procedural impropriety, falls short of the requirement envisaged under Article 47 (2) of the Constitution and Section 4 (3) b of the Fair Administrative Action Act 2015,” said Justice Ogola adding that the decision was null and void.

He further ruled that ACA took into consideration irrelevant matters in arriving at its decision to seize and prefer criminal charges against Uwin Investments Africa Company Ltd’s officers.

The court also ruled that although the Director of Public Prosecutions was not a party to the proceedings, a criminal case against Uwin Investment Africa Company Ltd officers cannot go on because it is based on faulty grounds.

“The ingredients of the charges therein have no legal foundation, it is a waste of the court process and serves no purpose,” said Justice Ogola.

The court further noted that Uwin Investment Africa Company Ltd’s goods were not counterfeit.