Trademark Infringement

Purplemoon (U) Ltd v Numaa Industries Ltd (MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO 1137 OF 2016) [2017] UGCOMMC 44 (15 May 2017);


Headnote and Holding: 

This was a ruling on an application for a temporary injunction to restrain the respondent from using or trading in goods bearing the applicant’s registered trademark (moon with a logo).

The competitors in this case were in the same industry trading in textile materials and goods under the logos ‘Purple Moon Uganda Limited’ established in Uganda (applicant) and ‘Z moon Purple moon’ established in China (respondent). The court applied the principle of territoriality and held that the applicant was the registered owner of the trademark in dispute and had the right to stop the respondent from using the mark.

The court held that the respondent’s mark was infringing since it was similar in wording (moon) to the applicant’s registered mark in Uganda and was likely to deceive customers in the course of trade.

The court also determined whether the respondent had the capacity (locus standi) to challenge registration of a trademark in Uganda. The court applied the rule that an agent of an owner of a registered mark in a Paris Convention member country had such capacity. The court observed that the respondents were not agents of the two companies that had registered the trademark in China thus lacked capacity.

Accordingly, the court issued the injunction as prayed for and costs of the application subject to the outcome of the main suit.


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