The accused will not be jailed if he pays the sh672m fine for the four counts he was found guilty on
The Buganda Road Court has sentenced a Chinese national to pay sh672m or face 11 years of jail time.
Hao Dai, 30, and a resident of Kololo Courts apartments in central Kampala appeared in a session presided over by Chief Magistrate Miriam Ayo Akello and pleaded guilty over manufacturing counterfeit goods and possession of dye.
Upon pleading guilty, the senior state attorney, Janet Kitimbo, told the court that all the parties had agreed and mitigated on the charges.
“All parties have agreed all the goods found infringing on the HP mark be destroyed and also the materials and implements which were used in the creation of the counterfeit goods should all be destroyed,” Kitimbo said.
In response to the state, the accused’s lawyer accepted all the state’s demands but requested for the vehicle that was used in the counterfeit operation not be attached since it did not belong to the convict.
During mitigation, Dai sought a lenient sentence asserting that he was a family man with a lot of responsibilities.
“The accused is a first time offender who proved guilty and did not waste court time, the convict under count one pays 120 currencies and in default face five years in jail. On the second count pays 150 currencies and in default two years jail, third count 48 currencies and in default two years jail and count four also pay a fine of 48 currencies and in default face jail for two years,” Akello said.
She clarified that the accused would not be jailed on paying all the currencies of the four counts respectively.
“If you pay all the currencies, court orders all the counterfeit goods to be destroyed but this should be done in presence of the officials of Uganda Registration Service Bureau,” she instructed.
Akello convicted Dai on his own plea on the charges of manufacturing and possession of dye for use in the commission of the offence, falsely applying a registered trademark, selling goods with false marks and prohibition of import and export of infringing trademarks.
All the charges were contrary to section 76, 75, 77, 78, 3, 4, 1 and 2 of the Trademarks Act 17, 2010.
The prosecution stated that on January 18, 2019, at Wankoko Road in the Kampala suburb of Bugolobi, Dai had a high output air pump and a sealer knowing that it was likely to be used for committing an offence to falsely apply a registered trademark.
According to the prosecution, Dai also recklessly applied the trademark HP substantially identical to the registered trademark of the Hewlett-Packard Development Company without the permission of the registered owner.
The prosecution further added that Dai had in his possession, 3933 flat boxes, 533 boxes of complete toners, 178 boxes of incomplete toners, 29 boxes of bubble bags and goods to which the HP trademark was falsely applied.
Dai had since 2016 been importing cartons of printing ink, goods to which the HP registered trademark was falsely applied.