The Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice has delayed its decision on the trademark fraud case between BAF Trading Corporation, two government agencies, and H.K. Enterprise, owned by a Lebanese businessman.
Lawyers representing BAF Trading Corporation in the case held final arguments in May with presiding Judge Chan-Chan A. Paegar reserving his final ruling.
Although both lawyers rested after oral and documentary evidences, which led to the final argument, Judge Paegar is yet to hand down the final judgment despite issuing the first notice of assignment.
Although Judge Paegar has assigned the case for ruling more than four times, the Commercial Court Judge is yet to rule in the case thus leaving party litigants’ fates in limbo.
It is not clear why Judge Paegar has delayed his final ruling.
It may be recalled that several months ago, BAF Trading Corporation, importers of ‘Pop Drink’ in Liberia dragged the Ministry of Commerce, the Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO) and a Lebanese businessman, who is the owner of H.K. Enterprise, to court for trademark infringement.
BAF Trading Corporation registered its trademark in March 2010, but without any violation and expiration of its ten-year right, the Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO) in 2014 issued to H.K. Enterprise a duplicate trademark that caused BTC to reportedly lose millions of United States dollars.
LIPO was established by an Act of the National Legislature on March 23, 2003, with the mandate to control the registration and regulation of intellectual property materials by providing minimum local and international standards of protection.
BAF claimed that LIPO did not follow due process and revoked its exclusive right, and subsequently issued it to H.K. Enterprise.
H.K. Enterprise is owned by Housseni Kafel, who is being tried for allegedly using the duplicated trademark certificate to import ‘Pop Drink’ to the Liberian market.
According to information, LIPO in 2014 registered the trademark certificate in favor of H.K. Enterprise as the only entity to import and sell ‘Pop Drink’ in Liberia.
Kafel said later he got the understanding that LIPO in 2010 issued the same trademark to another company, BAF Trading Corporation, for ten years to be the sole importer and distributor of ‘Pop Drink’ in Liberia.