Kenafric ‘Fuma’ Footwear Denies Counterfeiting Claims by Puma

Kenafric Fuma Footwear

This blogger has previously blogged here and here about Kenafric’s fatal attraction to well-known trade marks, to put it mildly. The latest victim of Kenafric’s attraction is none other than Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport (Puma for short). In this connection, this blogger came across a recent ruling in the case of Kenafric Industries Limited & another v Anti-Counterfeit Agency & 3 others [2015] eKLR.

In this case, Puma through its representative Paul Ramara lodged complaints at Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) against Kenafric for trade mark infringement. ACA and Ramara went to Kenafric’s premises and demanded to check the same for goods in the name of Puma a demand Mikul Shah a director at Kenafric declined to comply with due to the fact that his company had not been served with any Court order directing the said search and entry. Consequently, Shah was arrested, taken to Ruaraka Police Station and charged with the offence of obstruction and released on bond.

The following day ACA appeared before the Chief Magistrates Court (CMC) in an ex parte application and obtained orders for entry and search of Kenafric’s premises. Thereafter Kenafric raided the industrial premises of Kenafric and carted away goods contended to be infringing the trade mark Puma which was the basis upon which the order was obtained. In a surprising move, Kenafric went to the High Court to seek leave to commence judicial review proceedings against ACA and CMC. Kenafric also sought to have the leave operate as a stay against ACA. The court rightly declined to grant the stay sought by Kenafric.

Kenafric Fuma

This blogger reckons that Kenafric is fighting a losing battle against Puma especially in light of compelling evidence of trade mark infringement, as illustrated by the image above. In addition, Puma led by Paul Ramara and his team have a good track record of fighting counterfeiting of Puma products in Africa. In the case of Puma AG Rudolph Dassler Sport v Rampar Trading (Pty) Ltd and Others 2011 (2) SA 463 (SCA), South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) handed down a landmark judgment which secured Puma an important victory against Rampar Trading on behalf of all brand holders. The SCA found that it is possible for an act of counterfeiting to exist even if the fake product is not a copy of an existing item. In other words, the fact that the marks on the infringing shoes were significantly similar to Puma’s distinguishing marks meant that the shoes were counterfeits, even though they did not resemble an existing Puma item.

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