Rite Foods challenges NBC Alleged Trademark infringement as court adjourns hearing




The proceedings continue Wednesday, at the Federal High Ikoyi as counsel to Rite Foods, Muyiwa Ogungbenro and that of Nigerian Bottling Company’s managing director, Oluseye Opasanya (SAN), were once again back to the trenches on the legal implications of NBC‘s alleged infringement ‘ “Fearless” energy drinks from the stable of Rite Foods.

The contempt proceedings is coming up for the third time as a case brought by Rite Foods against the NBC and its Managing Director, Mathieu Seguin, came up for the second time before Hon. Justice Allagoa of the Federal High in Lagos, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

As the applications for the hearing of the contempt proceedings brought against NBC and its Managing Director is still ongoing and the Rite Foods legal team are insisting that the contempt order must be obeyed by NBC, however in the interim the had adjourned the case to November 15, 2021, for further hearing.

 The contempt proceeding is an offshoot of a claim filed by Rite Foods alleging passing-off by NBC of its Fearless energy drinks.

In the claim, which is before Hon. Justice Aneke, Rite Foods obtained interim injunctions against NBC to stop it from advertising or promoting its Predator energy drink in a manner that is capable of infringing on its Fearless energy drinks. Rite Foods alleges that NBC and its Managing Director, Mathieu Seguin disobeyed the interim order.

By the contempt proceedings, Rite Foods is seeking orders committing NBC’s managing director to prison until the company obeys the injunctions.

It would be recalled that the passing-off case came to light sometime in March 2021 in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/92/2021 at the Federal High Court, Lagos. Form 48 was published on Friday, March 19, 2021, in ThisDay and Guardian Newspapers. Rite Foods alleges that NBC has infringed on its trademark with its Predator energy drink, which has adopted a lion head in resemblance to the mark on its Fearless energy drinks brand.

Rite Foods claims that it has been using and trading with the lion image since 2017, three years before the NBC’s Predator came into the market in 2020.

The report also contains notice of consequences of disobedience of order issued to NBC’s Managing Director and an ex parte order restraining the company from promoting or using any sales promotion material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that infringes or passes off or that is capable of infringing or passing off the plaintiff’s Fearless energy drink until the interlocutory application for injunction is determined.

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