By Andante Okanya
THE Commercial Court in Kampala is on Monday scheduled to hear a case, pitting two rival agricultural inputs firms Balton Uganda Limited and Bolton International Limited.
Balton purports that Bolton has hoodwinked the public into believing that they are part of Balton, which it contends has injured their business.
Yesterday, the parties to the case appeared before the court registrar Thaddeus Opesen. Lawyers Noah Mwesigwa (Balton), and Pearl Nyakabwa (Bolton) represented the parties. Balton general manager Denis Turyamuhabwa was present.
Court had been expected to proceed to hear an application to temporarily stop Bolton from allegedly posturing as Balton, pending the hearing of the main suit. However, Nyakabwa informed court that she was not adequately prepared to proceed.
The case arose on August 28, when Balton Uganda and its parent UK based company Balton CP Limited, jointly sued Bolton and its chairman Zeev Shiff.
Balton wants court to compel Bolton to deliver for destruction all the offending materials and documents in their possession.
Passing off in common law, refers to an impression created by a person that his goods or services are those of someone else in way likely to cause damage to the other party.
Balton claims Bolton is dealing in the same product as theirs, is running several adverts, media publications, and using a name and get up of similar symbols and colours.
Balton asserts that Bolton’s use of the phrase “it is Bolton” and “Same People-New Direction”, was intended to mislead and deceive the general public.
Bolton is accused of seeking business from Balton’s clientele, and that they have created an impression that the companies are associated.
Shiff served as Balton general manager from December 1998 to July 2013.Balton contends that was bound by a contractual and legal duty of confidentiality which he later purportedly breached.