Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed October 24 for hearing of N260 million suit slammed on Cadbury UK Limited by OK Foods Limited.
Other respondents in the suit are Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Registrar of Trademarks.
OK Foods Limited dragged the respondents before the court over the use of generic trade dresses, colours and shapes in the production of Top Mint Candy sweet produced by the plaintiff and Tom Tom Candy sweet produced by Cadbury Plc.
In a statement of claim filed before the court by a Lagos-based lawyer, Peter Shobiye, on behalf of the plaintiff, OK Foods Limited alleged that it applied for the registration of the trademark Top Mint on April 15, 2005, and was issued the certificate of Trademark RTM 73440 by the Registrar of Trademark and, for over 13 years , Top Mint has been a popular brand with Nigerian consumers and it is strongly associated with menthol-flavoured candy.
The label and trade dress were also approved and registered by the National Agency for food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
However, the plaintiff averred that it has been consistently harassed, threatened and intimidated by Cadbury UK Limited through series of letters alleging that its Top Mint shape, design and colours were confusingly similar and infringing on its Tom Tom brand and demanded that it should immediately cease further manufacturing, promotion, marketing and offering for sale of its Top Mint menthol-flavoured candy, alleging that it had same identity and confusing similarity with Tom Tom
The plaintiff contended that Top Mint is not similar nor can it be confused for Tom Tom nor can it be deceptively regarded as the product of the respondents.
The plaintiff averred that the respondents cannot claimed sole ownership of the black and white combination in the candy/confectionery industry as the black and white colour is generically used color combination in the industry with many other manufacturers using the two combination.
The plaintiff avers that it has suffered huge financial losses due to the threat, intimidation, harassment caused to its business by letters from the cadbury’s solicitors threatening its business and legitimate use of its Top Mint trademark.