Friday, 18 September 2009

Thabani Winery appeal decision

It is trade mark appeal fortnight and here is another decision: Jabulani Ntshangase built up and registered the brand, THABANI VINEYARDS & WINERY. Jabu had labels made on behalf of Thabani Wine (Pty) Ltd of which he was a director and a shareholder before coming across a bottle labelled THABANA: CHARDONNAY which he considered as an infringement of his mark. Jabu and his company sought an order from the Court restraining the use of THABANA or any mark similar to THABANI VINEYARDS & WINERY and was successful, a decision which was then taken on appeal. The appellant claimed that the trade mark registration was invalid because Jabu’s registering the marks in his own name was adverse to the Company’s interest and that he had no bona fide claim to the ownership of the trade marks. Furthermore, that the mark (as used ie Thabani) was not the same as the mark (as registered Thabani Vineyards & Winery) and therefore the registered trade mark could be cancelled and/or that Jabu and his company had acquiesced to the use of the mark THABANA through delay. Trade mark enthusiast Msawenkosi Gaxo (Bowman Gilfillan) provides a well written summary of the appeal decision here. Afro Leo thinks the court got it right in dismissing the appeal, but what about you? The case can be located here and is best considered with a glass of your favourite tipple.

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