Thursday, 7 February 2008

SA Court prepared to send Company Directors to jail to protect brand owner

According to Business Report, 10 Directors of listed public company Simeka Business Solutions Group have given an ultimatum by the SA High Court to comply with their court order or face 30 days in jail. On 20 February 2007 the Court issued an order for Simeka to stop using the abbreviation BSG, a trademark used by a competitor, Business Systems Group. The Simeka company and their directors were required to remove all references to the letters BSG from their signage, correspondence, letterheads and Internet domain name but almost a year later had not complied, forcing their attorneys to seek an order for contempt of Court. SA has a problem with overcrowded jails so this order shows the seriousness with which the Court held the contempt and the infringement. Trade mark infringement per se is not generally seen as criminal act, unless it is counterfeiting. The USA, UK and Thailand are examples other countries that have recently threatened or put people in jail for counterfeiting.

For famous three letter trademark enforcers of a different kind click here and here and here.

For the UK practice on registration of three letter marks click here

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