Coca Cola vs Pop Cola: Court fixes 22 February,   for ruling on interlocutory application



Coca Cola vs Pop Cola: Court fixes 22 February,   for ruling on interlocutory application

By Abdulgafar Oladimeji

A Kano Federal High court sitting at Gyadi Gyadi  has  fixed 22nd  February for  ruling,  on an interlocutory  application on  the case of patent rights  filed by Coca Cola international against  a local  Nigerian beverage brand  producer  Pop Cola.

The  counsel to the plaintiff,   Mark Mordi ,SAN  addressing the   court, on the interlocutory application ,  last Monday told the court that the issue before it for determination borders on the labeling of the product manufactured by the defendants.

According to counsel ,  the plaintiff   in the matter  is not contesting the design of the bottle , rather its legal grouse is about the labeling of the defendant’s product, which in  legal thinking should be considered by the court  as a mix and should be declared thus .

He further  submitted to  the court that , Pop Cola has no proper documented evidence to show that it  acquired the statutory registered trade mark certification of Pop Cola   from the patent regulatory agencies, further adding   that the defendants were yet to be formally  issued with a trade mark certificate.

The plaintiff also  note that, exhibit MBL 2 in the matter,  is a missive written to Pop Cola by Nigeria Copyrights Commission, which states  that the  registration of Pop Cola trade mark is still   been proceed, by the  commission, adding  that the missive  could not  translate  to Pop Cola  trade mark ownership.

He averred that all relevant legal authorities will be supplied to the court.

Earlier, counsel to the plaintiff  had presented two distinct  bottle of beverages to buttress to the court  the issue of similarity that is the legal  contention  between Coca Cola and Pop Cola.

The counsel to the defendants, Offiong Offiong, SAN  said Coca Cola could not claim exclusivity to the use of the word “Cola” explaining to the court  that the word “Cola “ is generic.

He argued that, Coca Cola  is allegedly hiding under the guise of trade mark  ownership to  claim exclusivity to the use of the word “Cola”.

Offiong further told the court that the issues of similarity is hinged on distinctiveness, adding that a mark must be something distinct, which applies to the brand paraded by Pop Cola as against the claim by the plaintiff.

According to him, Coca Cola  has  not established  its case of claimed legal rights over the  exclusivity of the  stripe crossing on the duo beverages , which is the issue of contention before the court.

He dismissed  , what he described as appropriation  of exclusivity to the use of the word  “Cola” and ribbon on Pop Cola that is  been claimed by the plaintiff.

The presiding judge, Hon Justice  Nasiru Yunus  declared the matter adjourned to 22 February  for ruling , on the interlocutory application.




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