Monday, 15 December 2008

LEGALWISE, or is it ..?

The Sunday Standard reports on an intellectual property war which is looming between LEGALWISE Botswana and LEGALWISE South Africa, following a collapse in the South African company’s attempt to buy into the Botswana company.

The South African insurance company, which deals in legal aid, was first to secure the name in Botswana, but its registration was apparently lost a few years ago after it failed to submit returns with the Botswana Registrar of Trade Marks. The name LEGALWISE Botswana was subsequently given to the Botswana company, which offers the same services. When the South African company decided to expand into Botswana, it discovered that its mark now belonged with the Botswana company. Following the failure of buy-out negotiations, lawyers acting for the South African company wrote to LEGALWISE Botswana, giving them an ultimatum to cease using the name LEGALWISE BOTSWANA or face litigation. If you want to read about the most recent posturings and and developments, you can do so here.

Afro Leo says, any business that lets its trade mark rights lapse and then gets uppity about them, and any business that nips in and secures a right that its original owner is likely to get angry about, may be "legal" but perhaps not so "wise". If this is so, perhaps the mark is deceptive whoever gets to keep it!

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