Proceedings in the suit by Coca-Cola Company before a Federal High Court in Kano against Mamuda Beverages Nigeria Ltd over alleged trademark theft is set to begin Tuesday.
There has been a prolonged dispute over Mamuda Beverages’s entry into the market with Pop-Cola carrying designs said to be similar to the Coca-Cola brand.
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Coca Cola Company Ltd, in a 61-paragraph statement of the claim through the law firm of Aluko and Oyebode is contending that Mamuda Ltd is distributing and advertising its Pop Cola products with the ‘Ribbon Device’ which is identical to its ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’ trademark in a script that mimics its trade dress.
The company is asking the court to declare as an unlawful infringement of its registered trademark with number RTM 71808 Coca Cola Script and 26655 ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’ both in class 32 which it has right to the exclusive use of under Nigerian law.
Coca Cola stated that “the defendant’s use of the trademarks ‘Ribbon Device’ and ‘Pop-Cola’ in special script amounts to an infringement of the right of exclusivity of use of the marks ‘Coca-Cola’ script and ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’ and is liable to create confusion to the general public, foreign and international, as to the likelihood of an association between the plaintiff and the defendant.
“A declaration that the defendant’s product label, its advertising material and the use of a get-up that comprise of a combination of all of the elements of the plaintiffs is wrongful as it amounts to passing-off of the defendant’s goods as those of the plaintiff,” the company said in its reliefs.
Reacting, counsel to Mamuda Ltd makers of Pop Cola, Offiong E. Offiong (SAN), said it does not seek a fight or confrontation with Coca-Cola but is determined to survive and thrive in the beverage industry.