Rani Juice trademark battle rages on

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Derhim Industrial Co. Ltd, a Yemeni company has filed an appeal to the Ledeta Federal Instance Court claiming that the decision of the Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) to grant a Rani Trade mark to the Saudi Aujan Industry is incorrect. Derhim argued that the brand was previously registered to their company and that Aujan was selling the product without a registration.

The battle between the Yemeni and Saudi companies goes back nine years when Derhim registered the trademark in the Intellectual Property Office (EIPO) and Aujan successfully filed an appeal. The Saudi company argued that the products are well known in the Ethiopian market and were registered in 1994 by an American company, Rani International PLC to win the case.

Awjan also explained to the court that  Rani International is a sister company and the first trademark registration can  also be used to import  the product in the Ethiopian market but  Derhim argued  the American Company didn’t renew the trademark license and couldn’t use it.

However, in 2013 EIPO reversed its decision and re-awarded the rights to Derhimin.

Displeased by EIPO’s decision, the Saudi company appealed to the court once more, saying that the court’s decision was made without hearing Aujan’s argument. EIPO once again ruled in favor of Awjan.

The court has made an appointment to hear Derhim’s appeal on 24 October 2016.

Rani is a leading juice brand in North East Africa and is available in the Ethiopian market in a variety of packages.

According to Dr, Yared Legesse, lawyer of Aujan the Saudis are on the way to opening a representative office in Addis Ababa. Currently Rani Juice which is produced by Aujan imported in to the Ethiopian market with no exclusive importer.

Aujan Industries Co., LLC engages in manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling beverages and confectionery products in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and Levant. The company has strategic alliances with large international companies such as Wrigley’s, Tominaga Boeki, and Unilever.

Derhim Industrial Company LTD (DICO), on the other hand is a small company established near the town of Al-Marawea about 26kmfrom the port city of Hodeidah. It is known as one of the most progressive companies in Yemen, specializing in the production and distribution of carbonated soft drinks, water and fruit Juices.