The Namibian High Court recently issued a decision dealing with passing-off and
Southern Sun Africa, based in Mauritius, is the proprietor of trade mark registrations for the Sun Square logo trade mark in South Africa. Southern Sun Hotel Interests owns the
The Sun Square logo has been used in SA under licence from Southern Sun Africa for many years in relation to hotel and related services, according to Kareema Shaik, a senior associate at law firm Adams & Adams.
She said in mid-2015, the applicants became aware that the respondent, Sun Square Hotel, was operating a hotel in Namibia, under the name Sun Square, using an identical logo on its hotel signage, branding and guest amenities.
Southern Sun Africa, therefore, wanted to restrain the respondent’s unauthorised use of the Sun Square word and logo marks, while Southern Sun Hotel Interests alleged the respondent had infringed the
Southern Sun Africa does not operate a Sun Square hotel in Namibia, but it argued that it had established a reputation in the trade mark in the country through cross-border trade and spill-over advertising.
Evidence of use of the mark in South Africa was submitted and the court accepted that such evidence was sufficient to prove knowledge of the mark amongst a substantial number of people in the relevant sector in Namibia, according to Shaik. The court also found that Southern Sun Hotel Interests had established
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