The fierce competition in the local biscuit industry has reached a state of intense excitement and agitation as the two leading players in the industry, Twellium Industrial Company Ltd, manufacturers of Mcberry Biscuits and Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd, have locked horns in the law courts over misuse of their trademarks.
In a series of accusations and counter accusations between the two organisations, they have finally resolved to settle their disputes in the law court, which promises to be a test case for trademark infringement in Ghana.
The latest in the series of cases between the two organizations is currently pending at the High Court where Twellium Industrial Company Ltd secured an injunction against Nutrifoods for adopting, and or using an identical or similar name to mimic its Mcberry Breakfast Cereal biscuit brand. The brand name used by Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd which generated the latest controversy between the two organizations was Royal Breakfast Cereal.
The Court presided over by her ladyship, Adelaide Abui Keddey, justice of the High Court, in granting the motion for interlocutory injunction, was convinced among others that Twellium Industrial Company Ltd will suffer greater hardship if the application was refused and or dismissed. The learned judge, therefore, in her ruling, restrained Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd and its assigns, agents and privies from producing, distributing, marketing and selling Royal Breakfast Cereal biscuit until the final determination of the substantive suit.
The production and sale of Royal Breakfast Cereal biscuit by Nutrifoods was seen by industry watchers as a retaliatory measure. It will be recalled that Twellium Industrial Company Ltd launched a new biscuit brand called Alpha Cracker with a tagline “The New King in Town”.
Nutrifoods did not take kindly to the new product’s tagline which in the company’s view, is similar to its Royal King Cracker biscuit. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to stop Mcberry from using the tagline, Nutrifoods mounted an action at the High Court to stop Mcberry from using the tagline. However, the action suffered a fatal blow as the same was dismissed as unmeritorious.
The launch of the Royal Breakfast Cereal biscuit by Nutrifoods was therefore seen by industry observers as a revengeful act. Though the substantive case is yet to be heard, time will tell if the respondents will appeal the ruling by the judge.