11 June 2018

Tanzania: Paints Makers Locked in Brand Battle

Dar es Salaam — Three weeks after competition commission of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) declined to give a trademark license to Sadolin Uganda, it has emerged that the similar move will stall in Tanzania.

Last year, Sadolin, through AkzoNobel entered into arrangements with Regal Paints Ltd, of Uganda a subsidiary of Crown Paints EA Ltd for Regal to manufacture paint for them under the Sadolin brand without obtaining the approval from Comesa as required by law.

AkzoNobel took over the Sadolin brand last year, following termination of a license agreement it had with Sadolin Paints East African companies which had just been acquired by Kansai Plascon of Japan.

Business Registration and Licensing Authority (Brela) lawyer Mr Raphael Mtalima said there was no way how AkzoNobel can register the same brand again in Tanzania because it was still in the register something that would cause confusion.

"The only way how they can trade under the same name is only if they get the consent of the trade mark owner," he said.

In a bid to ensure continuity of the Sadolin brand on the market upon the relaunch, AkzoNobel entered a partnership with Regal Paints Uganda; a subsidiary of Kenyan based Crown Paints East Africa.

It is understood that Regal continued to manufacture paint which it used to earlier but branded it as Sadolin, thus deceiving customers.

This has caused confusion and customer complains in the market since the quality of paint is not the same as before.

However, according to the sources at Brela, the Trade and Services Mark act of 1986 prohibits registration of identical or resembling marks in the country.

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