Uganda Batteries sues competitor over trademark infringement

Thursday February 7 2019



Kampala- Uganda Batteries Limited (UBL) has sued Nile Batteries Limited (NBL) over trademark infringement.

In a suit filed before the Commercial Division of the High Court Uganda Batteries claims that Nile Batteries is infringing on its copyright by manufacturing and selling batteries under the unregistered trademark “NBL” which has a striking resemblance with its UBL trademark.

Uganda Batteries, according to documents before court indicates that it registered its copyright on December 1, 1994 under number 19267.
The company, as a requirement, obtained a product certification of its batteries under the UBL brand name, which were later certified by Uganda National Bureau of Standards.

“Sometime in October 2018, [we] learnt of the production of similar looking batteries on the market by the same name, style and marked NBL. [We] found NBL batteries to be strikingly similar to our own including but not limited to the general design and mark especially the appearance of letter ‘B’ the colour imitations, get-up and packaging of their batteries,” documents filed before court, read in part.

Uganda Batteries, acting through Sebalu and Lule Advocates, also state that NBL, which has never registered its own trademark, has a warranty card that is materially the same in content and structure.

The company also commissioned a private investigation into the alleged infringement, part of which was compiled into a report detailing how NBL “has acquired a considerable goodwill and market share through using UBL’s protected initials.

The infringement, Uganda Batteries says, has not only invaded on its intellectual property rights but has also resulted in great financial loss and continued financial risk to its business.