UK drugs firm obtains orders barring Kenyan companies from using trademark

By: MAUREEN KAKAH

A UK-based drug manufacturing company has obtained temporary court orders blocking two local companies from using a trademark similar to their own.

Vitabiotics Limited got the temporary reprieve after the High Court restricted the local pharmaceutical companies from trading in their products.

The UK firm, which has partnered with Harleys Limited to import, distribute and sell their products in Kenya, sued Ripples Pharmaceutical Limited and Metro Pharmaceuticals Limited.

The firm, which was about to complete the registration in Kenya of its UK-registered trademark, told the court it had established that the sued parties were involved in importing, packaging, selling as well as distributing products bearing a trademark similar to theirs.

According to Vitabiotics director Hardip Singh, Harley’s director, Rupen Haria, informed him that the products with a copied trademark were being sold in various outlets in Nairobi, Naivasha, Thika, Meru, Nyeri and Nakuru, among other areas in the country.

‘ILLEGAL ACTS’

The manufacturer claimed that the alleged illegal acts have been confusing customers.

The said acts have also greatly affected their operations through Harleys, which is their duly authorised distributor, besides creating losses for them in the market.

“I verily believe that the sued partied will continue with their illegal actions and dealership. Unless restrained we will suffer irreparable losses, we have not been able to enjoy our exclusive rights in Kenya yet we are the legit manufacturers of the affected products,” Mr Singh said.

Justice Jacqueline Kamau issued an order barring the sued parties from importing, packaging, supplying, distributing or selling Vitabiotics products pending the hearing and determination of the case.

The judge also certified the matter as urgent.