By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has adjourned to October 27, 2021 for hearing of all applications in the contempt proceeding initiated by Rite Food Limited against Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC, and its Managing Director, Mattieu Seguine, over alleged trademark infringement.
Rite Foods in the suit is accusing NBC and its Managing Director of using its Fearless energy drink’s logo on their ‘Predator’ energy drink.
Rite Foods had on February 9, 2021, asked the court to restrain NBC from further promoting its Predator Energy drink in the Nigerian market.
Rite Foods through its counsel, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungbenro, claimed that Predator’s lion insignia bears a striking resemblance to its ‘Fearless’ energy drink.
NBC denied any claim of trademark violation or passing off with its Predator Energy drink vowing to contest the case vigorously in court.
NBC, meanwhile, asked the court to set aside an ex-parte injunction obtained by Rite Foods Limited against the continued promotion the Predator Energy drink in the Nigerian market.
However, NBC’s counsel, Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN, in one of the proceedings, told Justice Allagoa that Rite Foods’ applications were brought malafide and were without merit as the suit lacked a firm ground to stand in law.
He contended that the Predator logo had been in existence and in use in many markets outside of Nigeria even prior to the launch of Fearless by Rite Foods in the Nigerian market.
Responding, Rite Foods’ counsel, Ogungbenro, told the court that before the alleged contemnor’s applications could be heard, the alleged contemnor must appear before the court, as the case against them was criminal in nature.