A Federal High Court, sitting in Kano state on Tuesday refused to grant an interlocutory injunction, filed by Coca-Cola company, seeking to stop Pop Cola from conducting its business, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Coca-Cola had filed a lawsuit against Mamuda Beverages Nigeria limited, manufacturers of Pop Cola, claiming that the Kano-based company had imitated its trademark.
It then prayed for an interim injunction to restrain the defendant (Pop Cola), its employees or agents from using, affixing or displaying on any beverage product, vehicle, stationary, advertisement, putting to commercial use, in any manner or form for the purpose of commercial benefit or otherwise, the ‘ribbon devise’ and the special script in which the Pop Cola has been depicted in its advertising materials that is similar to Coca-Cola, ribbon devise, pending the determination and hearing of the case.
When the matter came up on Tuesday, counsel to the Pop Cola, Offiong Offiong, SAN, argued that his client had invested enormous amount of money in trading and promotion of its products, adding that counsel to the Coca-Cola had failed to support his claim with supportive legal authorities.
Mr Offiong further submitted that the claim of Coca-Cola against Pop Cola was not for legal right but competitor war.
In his ruling, Justice Muhammmad Yunusa ordered for accelerated hearing instead of granting the interlocutory injunction.
Mr Yunusa argued that although granting interlocutory injunction is at the discretion of court, it is important for the judge to hear facts from all parties for determination of substantive suit.
“I hereby ordered accelerated hearing rather than granting interlocutory injunction,” Mr Yunusa ordered.