Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) in a press release sent to BizWatch Nigeria has disclosed that NBC is set to contest the court case filed by Rite foods Limited against the promotion of its Predator energy drink.
Rite had accused NBC of trademark infringement, saying that NBC’s energy drink ‘Predator’ could be mistaken for ‘Fearless’ energy drink. NBC has agreed to contest the alleged case of ‘trademark infringement’ in court.
The statement by NBC is a reaction to the recent media coverage relating to the legal case between Rite Foods Limited and the company, on the grounds of trademark infringement, as Rite believes NBC’s Predator energy drink bears a close resemblance to its Fearless energy drink.
In line with these claims, Rite filed for an interim injunction against NBC, restraining it from promoting or using any sales promotion material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that is capable of infringing or passing off Fearless energy drink until the interlocutory application for an injunction is determined.
Fearless VS Predator; release date and trademark
Rite said its product, which consists of the Red Berry and Classic brands, was launched into the Nigerian market on June 15 and 16, 2017, respectively, and has gained a wider market share before NBC’s Predator brand made entrant in June 2020.
This, it said, indicated that the trademark has been in use by the Rite Foods’ brands before NBC’s Predator drink was launched.
According to the applicant, it owns the exclusive right to the get-up, which has been a mark of identifying its market-leading Fearless energy drink brands.
NBC noted that the court case will be vigorously contested and the management is confident that after due consideration of the merits of the case, the Court will confirm its rights based on Predator energy drink’s established use of the Predator brand and logo in many other markets around the world and the fact that the bottles and logos of both drinks are not confusingly similar.
Rite claims that the degree of similarity between the Lion symbol on its Fearless brands and NBC’s Predator energy drink is high and that since both compete in the same market spectrum, the mark is likely to cause confusion in the minds of consumers, about the source or sponsorship of the brands offered under the defendant’s mark.