Justice Lewis Allagoa of a Federal High Court in Lagos will on September 22 commence hearing in the suit between Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd and Rite Foods Ltd over their respective energy drinks’ logos. The date has been fixed for the hearing of all preliminary motions in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/92/2021.
NBC and Rite Foods were locked in legal battle over alleged similarities or not in the ‘lion’ logo of their respective drinks.
Rite Foods had on February 9, 2021, filed the suit seeking for an order restraining NBC from further promoting its Predator Energy drink in the Nigerian market.
The firm through its lawyer, Muyiwa Ogungbenro, had argued that the Predator’s lion insignia bears a striking resemblance to that of Rite Foods’ Fearless drink.
However, while denying any claim of trademark violation or passing off with its Predator Energy drink, NBC prayed the court to set aside an ex-parte injunction obtained by Rite Foods against the continued promotion of its drink.
NBC further asked the court to dismiss Rite Foods’ committal application brought against its Managing Director, Matthieu Seguin, for alleged disobedience to the interim order.
NBC’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, had at the initial hearing of the matter before the former trial judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, maintained that Rite Foods’ ex-parte motion lacked merit and firm ground to stand in law.
He further contended that the Predator logo had been in existence and in use in many markets outside Nigeria prior to the launch of Fearless by Rite Foods in Nigeria market.