Funeral service providers fight over brand name

Oct 21, 2020

A-Plus Funeral Management Limited has dragged A-Class Funeral Services (U) Ltd to court over a trademark name. A-Class Funeral Services was sued alongside Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

The case was filed at the Civil Division of the High Court seeking a permanent injunction to stop A-Class Funeral Services from carrying out a similar business using a name that is seemingly confusing with that of A-Plus. 

A Plus staff handling a burial recently

Court documents indicate that A-Plus was incorporated in 2003 and it has been conducting business under the name and fashion of A-Plus since the date of registration.

A-Plus asserts that it has over the years acquired goodwill in its business name "A-Plus Funeral Management Limited" as its services and business are well-known to the public generally by the said name.

"Sometime in September, it came to the plaintiff's knowledge that another company had been incorporated by the second defendant under a business name that is confusingly similar to its name "A-Plus Funeral Management Limited," read the court documents.

According to court documents, the plaintiff subsequently carried out a search with the second defendant, where they were able to establish that the first defendant, A-Class, had been incorporated and added to the company register on August 31, under the name A-Class Funeral Services Uganda Limited by URSB.

Family members see off their loved one

"Through the search and upon scrutiny of the first defendant's memorandum and articles of association, the plaintiff also established that the defendant (A-Class) intends to carry out the same business and trade as the plaintiff to wit funeral management or services," reads the plaint.

The plaintiff says they raised objections to the registration of the first defendant under the said name through their lawyers by letters dated September 16, 2020.

A-Plus further asserts that the defendant, since August 31, has been purporting to trade in Uganda under the name A-Class Funeral Services Uganda Limited, which is confusingly similar to the plaintiff's widely wellknown name A-Plus.

The company avers that URSB has a duty to perform due diligence in incorporating the first defendant under the name A-Class, which is not only a confusingly similar name but also a wrongful attempt to pass off its name and business.

A-Plus wants declaratory orders that URSB negligently facilitated the first defendant's passing off of the plaintiff's name and business.

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