Uganda: A Trademark Tale of Two Chinese TECNO Mobile Phones

TECNO TELECOM LIMITED v KIGALO INVESTMENTS LTD (MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE NO.0017 OF 2011) [2011] UGCommC 112

In a recent case before Lady Justice Hellen Obura sitting in the Commercial Division of the High Court of Uganda at Kampala, Tecno Telecom Ltd. (the applicant) applied under sections 45 and 46 of the Trademarks Act 2010 to have the trademark “TECNO” registered by Kigalo Investments (the respondent) in Uganda removed from the register on grounds of proof of prior registration in a country of origin, and/or for non-use of the trademark.

The crux of the applicant’s case is that the trademark registered by the respondent was similar and identical to the trademark first registered by the applicant in Hong Kong in all aspects as it was in respect of goods in class 9 inclusive of phones and other electronic goods which constitute the main item of manufacture in China and exports to Uganda. Furthermore, the applicant adduced evidence showing that TECNO phones had been in the Ugandan market prior to registration of the mark by the respondent and so that registration was an infringement on the applicant’s right to use the trademark in Uganda.

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