The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has ordered Slice Distributors’ Chicken Slice to stop using Chicken Inn’s word “Luv” as part of its trademark, ZimLive reported.
Chicken Inn, owned by Innscor Africa Limited, had claimed that Slice Distributors was infringing on its trademark by using the word “luv” in their Slice and Burger trademark. Chicken Inn argued that they had been using the word since their establishment in 1987. They also claimed that the colour scheme used by Chicken Slice resembled their own, leading to consumer confusion.
However, Justice Sylvia-Chirawu Mugomba ruled that Chicken Inn did not have exclusive rights to the word “luv” and that consumers would not be confused by the two products. Mugomba said:
"It is clear that the word ‘luv’ appears on the 1st defendant’s ‘burger’ mark and not on the Chicken Slice mark.
Taking into account the law as enunciated above, it is my considered view that apart from the word ‘luv’, the marks used are not similar.
In my view, a notional customer who encounters the products of the plaintiff and the 1st defendant is not likely to be confused by the differences between them."
Chicken Inn Loses Trademark Dispute With Chicken Slice
“We Consider KFC Our Competitor, And Not Chicken Slice”
Justice Mugomba dismissed Chicken Inn’s trademark infringement claims prompting Innscor to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling and ordered Chicken Slice to immediately stop using the disputed word. This legal battle over trademark infringement has been ongoing between Chicken Inn and its main competitor for several years. In a similar case in 2012, Innscor sued Takesure Mbano over his planned launch of Chickenza Inn, Creamy Chickenza, and Pizza Chickenza, claiming that they resembled their own trademarks. Chicken Inn is a popular fast-food chain with over 200 outlets across Zimbabwe and Africa.