A beer company has filed a suit in the High court seeking orders to quash the decision by Inspector General of Police to seize it Santa King Ice and other alcoholic beverages products.
FRM (BA) Packers Limited is also seeking orders to have IG prohibited from entering into premises of FRM Packers East African Limited, it suppliers , distributors , agents, searching, impounding or seizing Santa King Ice beverages or other products manufactured by the company.
The firm further also wants IG and DPP restrained from summoning, arresting, or charging FRM (BA) agents, employees, suppliers, distributors , retailers, carrying out further investigation or any further criminal prosecution in relations to Santa King Ice and their beverages products.
It if further seeking a declaration that Kenya Breweries Limited and East African Breweries occupy a dominant position in the beer market are abusing dominant in violation of section 24(2) of the competition Act.
The company is also want a declaration that the purported registration of initials EABL as a trade mark amounts to the use of an intellectual property right in a manner that goes beyond the limits of fai , reasonable and non-discriminatory use.
They are further seeking orders suspending all further prosecution FRM (BA) agents, employees, suppliers, distributors , retailers, carrying out further investigation or any further criminal prosecution in relations to Santa King Ice and their beverages products.
According to the court documents, the company says police in collusion with KBL have lodged a an onslaught countrywide campaign illegally and maliciously confiscating and detaining the FRM (EA) Packers limited products and harassing, intimidating , arresting and charging it agents , distributors and retailers who form part of its supply chain alleging the company products are counterfeit.
“FRM (EA) Packers Limited is apprehensive that it agents , distributors and retailers will continue to be exposed to incarceration with the intended consequences of unjustifiable loss of liberty and business,” says the beer company.
They claims that their products are duly licensed and the actions of the police and KBL are meant to stifle competition and drive them out of business.
FRM limited says that it has beer with the brand Santa King Ice which is sold in a universal brown bottles which are conventionally used worldwide by alcoholic beverage manufacturers.
They argue that police actions are based on malicious allegations by KBL that the FRM company is selling its products using their bottles.
The company argue that brown bottles are not available to any other beer manufacturer to patent or trademark.
“Use of brown beer bottles assumed usage long before KBL started using them and no party can claim any novelty or unique attributes of the bottle peculiar,” state the company.
They said KBL alleges that their bottles are embossed with the initials EABL yet they sell products using with engrave or un-engraved bottles which means that they re&use the bottles originating from them.
They told the court that KBL has tried in vain to obtain injunctive orders against their competitors in the industry over the use of the said bottles.
“They have now changed their tactics and are using the police and DCI to advance illegal and restrictive trade polices,” say the company.
The matter was certified urgent and directed to serve EABL.
Mahakamani News is Kenya’s top court reporting and crime coverage website. If you have a case that needs coverage, or if you are facing injustice from powerful forces, fired unfairly or reporting any corruption or relevant news pertaining judiciary etc please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org