Anglo Fabrics (Bolton) Ltd & Anor v. African Queen Ltd & Anor
In The High Court of Uganda at Kampala
(Commercial Court Division)
Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice Yorokamu Bamwine
22nd January, 2008
Intellectual property – Trademarks - Passing off - Whether the 1st plaintiff has a valid claim in respect
of this suit - Whether the product imported by the defendants infringes on the plaintiffs’ trademark in
Uganda - whether the plaintiffs goods nearly resemble the ones complained of as to be likely to deceive
or cause confusion in the minds of the public - Whether the word Mekako is registered as an
international trademark - Whether the soap imported by the defendants into Uganda is under the
International trademark, if any.
Registration of documents – Effect of non-registration.
Whether the sale of the plaintiffs’ product contravenes UNBS Standards, regulations and policy Whether the plaintiffs’ product is banned on the Ugandan market.
Whether the plaintiffs are entitled to reliefs claimed against the defendants.
Evidence – Burden of proof.
On 7th October 1998, the 1st plaintiff registered a trademark ‘Mekako’ under Part A of the Trademarks
Act in respect of goods in class 3.The said trademark was renewed for a further period of 14 years from
10th September, 2004. The 1st plaintiff on 2 occasions, that is, on 14th July 2004 and 20th January 2007
executed deeds of assignment in favour of Americ Enterprises Ltd. Both deeds are not registered on the
Register of trademark. The 2nd plaintiff is the sole registered user in Uganda of the trademark Mekako,
that is, the only person authorized by the 1st plaintiff to import its products into the country. The
defendants imported into the country a soap product known as Mekako. The first plaintiff is a foreign
registered company resident in United Kingdom. The 1st defendant is a limited liability company
incorporated in Uganda and the 2nd defendant is its Managing Director. The suit product is not
manufactured in Uganda.
1. A fact is said to be proved when the Court is satisfied as to its truth. The evidence by which that
result is produced is called the proof. The general rule is that the burden of proof lies on the
party who asserts the affirmative of the issue or question in dispute. When that party adduces
evidence sufficient to raise a presumption that what he asserts is true, he is said to shift the
burden of proof: that is, his allegation is presumed to be true, unless his opponent adduces
evidence to rebut the presumption. In the instant case, the two deeds of assignment were not