Chicken Inn and Pizza Inn, a popular local fast food outlet in Rwanda has lost a trademark battle against Innscor International Ltd, a global firm in fast food business.
It will be recalled that Pizza Inn and Chicken Inn Rwanda had petitioned the court seeking an order to deregister Innscor International from Rwanda Development Board’s registry for trademark infringement. Innscor also sought an injunction to stop the plaintiff from using their brand names which has been registered in several African Countries.
The Nyarugenge Commercial Court ruling last week was in favour of Innscor International. The ruling stated that the local firm Chicken Inn and Pizza Inn had illegally used Innscor International’s trademark, logos and branding to confuse consumers which has made Innscor to suffer damages. The court ordered the plaintiff to stop using Chicken Inn and Pizza Inn brands in their operations as well as awarded a compensation of Rwf 1.7million to Innscor International.
According to Article 134 of the 2009 law on the Protection of Intellectual Property, a mark can only be registered as a trademark if it is distinctive, not imitative and not confusing to the general public.