The Commercial Case Law Index is a collection of judgments from African countries on topics relating to commercial legal practice. The collection aims to provide a snapshot of commercial legal practice in a country, rather than present solely traditionally "reportable" cases. The index currently covers 400 judgments from Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Get started on finding judgments that are relevant to you by browsing the topic list on the left of the screen. Click the arrows next to the topic names to reveal a detailed list of sub-topics. Most judgments are accompanied by a short summary written by subject-matter expert postgraduate students from the University of Cape Town.
The plaintiff registered its business name as ‘Standard Signs Uganda’, and the defendant incorporated as ‘Shandard Signs (Uganda) Limited’. The court considered whether the defendant had infringed on the plaintiff's trademark, was guilty of passing off and the applicable remedies.
The court held that s 6(1) of the Trade Mark Act grants a registered proprietor exclusive rights of use. The legal basis of passing off is that it is wrong for the defendant to represent for trading purposes that his goods are that of the plaintiff. Also, the plaintiff needs to prove that its business had acquired goodwill. If the defendant is passing off goods, the assumption is that the plaintiff is prevented from selling more goods and damages are a reasonable sum of actual loss.
The court found that the difference was only in the letters ‘t’ and ‘h’; in any event the pronunciation of ‘Standard’/’Shandard’ are similar. The other words in the business names are similar or identical, and the logos are also similar. On this basis, the court concluded that the concurrent use of the two registered trade names and logos are likely to confuse; accordingly they infringe on the plaintiff's trademark. Consequently, the defendant's registration of the name was irregular.
The court concluded that the plaintiff had shown that it had acquired goodwill, therefore, misrepresentation was made out. In that regard, had suffered damages because of erroneous belief endangered by the second defendant's misrepresentation.
The court observed that there was no case against the first defendant under the principle of corporate personality.
The court upheld the plaintiff's complaints and awarded damages, a permanent injunction and costs.
The appellant claimed that he was a partner in a business with the respondent. When the partnership dissolved and the proceeds were shared; the appellant was allegedly not given anything. He then sued the respondent for a declaration that he was a partner and was entitled to the proceeds. The High Court dismissed these claims.
The appellant appealed the judgment of the High Court five months after the judgment had been handed down. He further lodged an application for extension of time to file a notice of appeal. The court below dismissed this application because of inordinate delay.
The appellant appealed to this court. The appellant’s complaint was that the application was dismissed on the basis of technicalities and not substantive justice and this is in contravention of the Constitution. In response, the respondent submitted that the appeal lacks merit.
This court found that the continuation of the proceedings in question would greatly prejudice the respondent. This is because the respondent was holding a decree from the High Court since 1995 which decree the appellant has stubbornly refused to satisfy to date. Accordingly, this application was dismissed.
In this case, the plaintiff and defendant ran a school which was later closed and even de-registered when misunderstandings arose between the two. On failure to agree on sharing of partnership assets and liabilities, the plaintiff instituted this suit and sought for court order on how to share the property.
The defendant raised a preliminary objection that the suit indicated that there was existence of a partnership yet it had already been dissolved, and that de-registration was further evidence to prove nonexistence of a partnership. He further argued that the suit offended order 34 rule 4 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
Counsel for the plaintiff opposed the preliminary objection and stated that the suit was proper as it was not based on whether a partnership existed, but rather on settling the question of assets and liabilities, which was to completely dissolve the partnership.
In this case, the plaintiff sought to have a partnership between him and the defendant dissolved, and to have the defendant account for the contracts done and the amount due from such contracts to be shared accordingly.
Counsel for the defendant raised a preliminary objection on point of law that the plaint disclosed no cause of action against the defendant and that it was frivolous.
He defendant further contended that there was no evidence which showed that a partnership existed between him and the plaintiff.
The plaintiff adduced evidence of partnership documents and particulars of registration of the partnership, which proved that there existed a partnership between the two parties.
Further, the plaintiff brought evidence of contracts obtained from World Food Program for repair of vehicles, and evidence which showed that the defendant had been manipulating accounts thereby depriving the plaintiff of his interests.