Zambian trade mark law is being modernised, and draft new legislation has been published. This is long overdue – the present legislation, the Trade Marks Act Chapter 401 (the TMA), dates all the way back to 1958. But for now the TMA continues to apply.
A recent trade mark judgment, Swiss Bake Limited v Monster Energy Company, deals with well-known marks. Zambian company, Swiss Bake Limited (Swiss Bake), applied to register the trade mark Amazon Monsta Creams in class 30 for biscuits. US company, Monster Energy Company (Monster Energy ), opposed the application. The opposition was based on earlier Zambian registrations for marks incorporating the word Monster (such as Monster Rehab) in classes 5, 30 and 32. It was also based on the claim that the mark Monster is a well-known mark under Article 6 bis of the Paris Convention.
Monster Energy relied on significant worldwide use of its marks over a period of some 20 years. It submitted evidence of sports sponsorships in both Formula One and UFC (fighting). It claimed that there would be consumer confusion. It further claimed that the application for Amazon Monsta Creams had been filed in bad faith. Spoor & Fisher