Trade Mark vs Company Name Registration: Innscor Int. Battles Rwandan Companies, Pizza Inn Ltd and Chicken Inn Ltd


In a recent media report here, the Commercial Court of Nyarugenge in Rwanda has ruled that it will not proceed with a case filed by Innscor International accusing two local companies Chicken Inn Limited and Pizza Inn Limited of trademark infringement in Rwanda. The basis of this ruling was reportedly that Innscor had not demonstrated to the court that it had “legal status according to the law governing registered entities in Rwanda”. Technicalities aside, it is clear that once Innscor produces its certificate of incorporation in court, this case would proceed to consider the merits of Innscor’s claim (as illustrated by the picture above), namely that registration of a name as a company name by entity A should not trump any rights in such a name acquired previously by entity B through trade mark law.

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REVEALED: Ethiopia’s Draft National Intellectual Property Policy

Recently Kenya’s Northern neighbour, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia has developed a draft Intellectual Property (IP) Policy. Unlike the South African IP draft policy (discussed by this blogger here) which has been widely publicised and debated, the Ethiopian draft IP policy has been largely under wraps.

An electronic copy of the Ethiopian draft IP policy is available in .pdf here.

This blogger will peruse the policy document and offers some comments in subsequent blogposts.