Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Manufacturer Wants Legal Protection of Trademark

Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Managing Director of ESCAPAG (Gambia)
Ltd has called on the relevant government authorities to stamp out what he called ‘the illegal practice of intellectual property rights infringement’ in order to create a decent level playing field in the country’s manufacturing industry.
Speaking in an interview at his office in Kanifing Industrial Estate, Mr. Leo Hubert Gruber said the protection of intellectual property rights will give manufacturers, such as those in the wheelbarrow sector, more courage to be producing quality products for The Gambia and neighboring countries.

Mr. Gruber’s call for the protection of trade mark came hot on the heels when his company’s management became aware that members of the public have been purchasing
wheelbarrows from certain businesses which infringes ESCAPAG’s trademark colors
of wheelbarrows especially such colors and design as in the yellow frame,
green, yellow or red front reinforcement and the silver colored bowl, “upon
which ESCAPAG (Gambia) Ltd has exclusive rights under the recently Gazetted
Industrial Property Act Cap: 95:03”.

According to him, the sale and purchase of trademark infringing wheelbarrows violated several laws of The Gambia in particular the Industrial Property Act Cap: 95:03
and the Merchandise Marks Act Cap 95:05.

“ESCAPAG will pursue all legal actions for the protection of its intellectual property rights in its trademarked colors for wheelbarrows,” he said, while stating that
“ESCAPAG (Gambia)
Ltd is the only business legally authorised to sell to the general public and
retail merchants in The Gambia wheelbarrows in the above stated trademark
colors.”

The effects of infringement of intellectual property rights can lead to a critical point in terms of the survival of any company and if the fraudulent act continues it can
send a business down the path of liquidation. The protection of intellectual
property rights from abuse is as important for companies today as is the
protection of computer network from hackers.
These infringement costs huge losses in revenue for companies who are
victims.

Mr. Gruber in admitting to this fact added that the effects of the violation of the intellectual property rights can be very negative for the producer of the
original product because the infringed products are normally cheaper than the
original products, so customers prefer to go for the lower price.

“It will create unfair competition, which is not healthy for the economy and also not good for the growth of business in the country,” he said.

ESCAPAG MD made an earnest plea for the protection of intellectual property and offenders to cease as he puts it ‘their nefarious activities’. “Laws are the best weapon to
protect intellectual property rights,” he argued.

Mr. Gruber noted that the relevant authorities has been informed and hopes they will act, citing that infringement of registered trade mark consists of a civil and a fraudulent
offence. “The civil offence can be
solved by the company through a court of law, but the fraudulent offence, which
is criminal, can only be solved by the concerned authorities,” he said.

Despite this recent development ESCAPAG boss stressed that his company will continue to manufacture high quality and durable wheelbarrow for it’s customers within the
country and neighboring countries.

The Company which was established more than two decades ago is said to be the leading wheelbarrow manufacturer in The Gambia. ESCAPAG won two international awards;
the Century’s International Quality of the Era in 2004 in Germany and the International Award for
Excellence and Business Prestige in America in 2006. VOL:2 ISSN: 161

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