A view of Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, Kenya/ Courtesy.
NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 15- Two millers, Homegrown Millers Limited and Capwell Industries Ltd are embroiled in a court battle over the trademark “Pamoja Maize Meal”.
Homegrown Ltd, which filed a case at the High Court in Milimani Law Courts, lost a bid to stop Capwell Ltd from using the brand name on its products.
Pending hearing and determination of the case, Homegrown sought protection of its commercial interests by urging the court to restrain Capwell and its agents from “distributing, selling, offering for sale, advertising, marketing, stocking, or otherwise dealing with maize meal whatsoever under the brand name “Pamoja Maize meal” contained in packaging with a similar get up, logo, colour scheme, trademark and pictorial representation” to that of Homegrown.
Justice Wilfrida Okwany indicated that Homegrown Ltd failed to establish it has a strong case for granting of the injunction order sought. She noted that both companies have registrations of their respective trademarks of the brand.
Homegrown contended that it registered its trademark Pamoja Maize Meal on October 28, 2015 which is set to expire on October 28, 2025.
In a rejoinder, Capwell indicated that it first registered its Pamoja Maize Meal brand as its trademark with the Registrar of Trademarks on May 24, 2005 for a period of ten years that expired on May 24, 2015 after which it sought a renewal for a further 10 years set to expire in 2025.
Capwell’s case was that since it was the first to obtain registration of the trademark in the year 2005 it had the exclusive right and use of the trademark.
“In effect both parties have demonstrated that they registered the trademark that is the subject of this suit. This being the case, the court cannot hold that the trademark of one party is superior to the other before hearing the merits of the suit,” said Justice Okwany.
“If anything, and without prejudice to the outcome of the main suit, one can say that the trademark that was registered earlier should take precedence over the subsequent one. I, therefore, find that Homegrown has not established that it has a prima facie case against Capwell so as to warrant the granting of the injunctive orders sought,” she added.