Politics and policy
Strategic Industries in court over trademark
Posted Sunday, August 12 2012 at 16:52
Strategic Industries, a leading maker of beauty products, has obtained court orders barring rival Solpia Kenya Limited from infringing on its trademark.
Commercial Court judge Joseph Mutava on Friday restrained directors of Solpia Kenya and its agents from manufacturing, distributing, and selling products bearing the name Diva, saying the trademark had striking similarity with Strategic Industries product and was confusing customers.
Strategic is the manufacturer and distributor of the Darling hair brand with a wide range of braids, weaves and wigs.
It has accused its rival of manufacturing and distributing similar products in the market under the name Diva.
“Solpia Kenya directors, employees, its agents, and servants are restrained from manufacturing, distributing or selling products bearing the name Diva, or deceptively similar to the plaintiff’s goods until the hearing and conclusion of the dispute,” ruled Mr Justice Mutava. The case will be heard on September 25 when Solpia is expected to file its defence.
Through the law firm of Nyawara and Company, Strategic submitted that it was the registered owner of the trademark known as Diva under class 28 of the Nice Classifications in regard to hair additions, hair pieces and braids, weaves and wigs.
Under the trademark, company managing director Mahmoud Saffideen says in an affidavit, their beauty products have established a customer base in the local and international markets and especially in the East African region.
Mr Saffideen argues that since June, the firm’s sales of Diva products had either been steady or declining.
After a market research, the company discovered that Solpia was manufacturing and distributing similar products disregarding Strategic Industries’ proprietary rights.
Strategic further informed the court that at no time had the company authorised Solpia to sell its hair products under the name Diva and using the marks, labels, and colour configurations as those of Strategic products “as (this) would obviously cause confusion.”
“Accordingly, the defendant has infringed and intends to continue infringing on the plaintiff’s trademark unless restrained by the court,” Strategic told Mr Justice Mutava who consequently issued an order barring Solpia from passing off their products as Strategic Industries’.
Mr Saffideen told the court that their rival had taken advantage of Strategic’s goodwill to mislead consumers into believing that Sepia’s products originated from them, or that they have a business relationship.
And following Solpia’s alleged infringement of Strategic’s trademark, the company says it has suffered losses and damage despite demand that the firm desists from committing the breaches.
Strategic is also seeking a court order requiring Solpia to deliver all hair pieces, weaves and wigs, hair additions and braids bearing the infringing mark together with all their packets for destruction.