The Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala rendered a decision in August 2022 on the issue of whether a company name registered in Uganda before a trademark owner does, can amount to trademark infringement.

Brief Facts

The plaintiff stated that it was founded in 1968 by two pioneers in the semiconductor industry, who adopted the dropped e logo as a trademark. The plaintiff first registered its INTEL trademark in class 9 in the US in 1972. The same mark was registered in Uganda in 1999, and subsequently in class 42 in 2011. On the other hand, the defendant, INTEL Computers Limited was incorporated in Uganda in 2002. Its objectives among others are to deal in computer equipment, repair, software installation and networking services.
INTEL Corporation sued the defendant for trademark infringement for the use of the name INTEL in its company name, as well as using the dropped INTEL logo on its storefront. The plaintiff sought orders directing the defendant to change its company name to one that does not incorporate the INTEL mark. The defendants essential arguments were that it registered its company in good faith and that there is no likelihood of confusion between its company name with the plaintiffs trademark.