The Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice did not live up to its promise to make available a hardcopy ruling of Judge Chan-Chan Peagar in the trademark infringement for “pop drink.”
Wednesday, August 10 was the date set by Judge Peagar to give the court document to the parties of both BAF and H.K. Enterprise, but when the parties arrived Judge Peagar did not show-up.
In his ruling, on Monday, August 8, Judge Peagar said that H. K. Enterprise owned by a Lebanese businessman was the legitimate importer and distributor of the pop drink, which it distributes on the Liberian market, a ruling BAF Trading rejected and announced an appeal.
He further ruled that the parties violated the registration process authorized by the Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO), though it was LIPO’s executive director Robert Mezzeh, who signed and issued the same trademark certificate for pop drinks to both BAF Trading and H.K. Enterprise.
Mezzeh issued the trademark to BAF Trading in 2010 for ten years and while the ten years have not expired, he issued the same trademark for pop drink to H.K. Enterprise in 2014.
In his ruling the judge said H.K. Enterprise has a distribution contract with the manufacturer and is the agent of the pop drink trademark.
The availability of the ruling would have given BAF Trading’s legal team the opportunity to take advantage of the ten days required by law to file an appeal to the Supreme Court.
“We don’t know what is obtaining because we have gone almost seven days to the expiration of the ten days given us under the law to begin the appeal process against the judge’s ruling at the Supreme Court,” a BAF Trading lawyer said yesterday.
The lawyer, who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak in public for the company, said, “It is not yet certain as to when Judge Paegar would give us the hardcopy document ruling and it makes it difficult for us to go ahead with the process.”
A legal expert explained to the Daily Observer that, if a party that rejects a judge’s ruling and announces an appeal before the Supreme Court, fails to commence the process within ten days of that decision, the opponent has the right to also file a request to the same Supreme Court for dismissal, on the grounds of delay to proceed in time.