Trade Dress in Zambia

(Zambia) – As we prepare for Post-Corona New Normal in global and local economics, Zambian business owners and brands, can no longer ignore the intellectual property issues arising from product package designing that affect the sales or their products – Trade Dress.

In the Industrial Property Journal of April 2020, published by PACRA, Tradekings Zambia Limited has just had their applications accepted for registration of several trademarks for household detergents which include Diamond, Xtra, Boom, Aloha and Hippo washing powders. These applications were for the packaging design and the brand designs themselves. The Tradekings Group is a regional powerhouse in the FMCG line of business, and ensuring the protection of the trademarks, product designs and concepts is as important as actually making of the products themselves.

Profitability for products on the shelf in the supermarket does not only lie in them being produced, but them being distinct from the next brand such that the consumer is not confused.

There is a case study that was done by the Intellectual Property Magazine in Zimbabwe, that of two potato chip products with similar packaging designs. In 2018, there was a situation where market researchers noticed that Hanawa Super Foods’ cheese flavour packaging and Willards cheese flavour packaging looked alike; therein lay what is now known as Trade Dressing in the world of Intellectual Property under trademark laws.

As is in several countries in Africa, Willards is an established brand in the Zimbabwean market which has garnered a lot of appreciation in the snacks trade. Chompkins in particular have been a favourite amongst many however there has been a new product in the industry which looks very similar to the product and very likely to be mistaken for the Willards product.

Read more in Ganizo Magazine.

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