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Unlawful competition finding: Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd. v Twellium Industries Ltd

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Published Date: February 8, 2024

The recent judgement in the case Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd. v Twellium Industries Ltd highlights the significance of pleading sufficient evidence in establishing claims of unlawful competition in Ghana

Unlawful competition finding: Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd. v Twellium Industries Ltd

On 18 December 2023 the Ghana High Court delivered judgement in respect of the unlawful competition case between Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd. v Twellium Industries Ltd. Suit No. GJ/0103/2023.

Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd (“the Plaintiff”), a Ghanaian food manufacturer, accused Twellium Industries Ltd (“the Defendant”) of unlawful competition for allegedly launching a biscuit called, “ALPHA CRACKER,” with a packaging design closely resembling the Plaintiff’s “ROYAL KING CRACKER.”:

The Plaintiff argued that the imitation in colour, font, and layout could mislead consumers, damaging its goodwill. The Defendant contended that its product had distinct features, such as different colours and additional elements, preventing confusion. The court found the Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish actual or a likelihood of confusion, highlighted the absence of testimony from the suppliers and customers, who allegedly claimed confusion, as detrimental to the Plaintiff’s case. Consequently, that court found the Defendant’s biscuit to be distinct, dismissing claims of unlawful competition and awarding costs of Ghȼ 100,000.00 (±US$8000) against the Plaintiff in favour of the Defendant.

The court emphasized that in cases of unlawful competition, the Plaintiff must prove a clear and confusing similarity between the products and that this similarity is indistinguishable, causing people to believe both products are the same. Failure to establish these elements may result in an unsuccessful claim in Ghana.

Source: Copy of judgement received from Yvonne Adwoa Yeboah of Integrated Legal Consultants and article available at : https://bpaghana.com/nutrifoods-ghana-ltd-v-twellium-industries-ltd-suit-no-gj-0103-2023-judgment-delivered-on-18th-december-2023/

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