High Court to rule on ANC vs MK Party trademark case

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The High Court in Durban will today deliver judgment in the African National Congress’s (ANC) trademark case.

The ANC had hauled the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party to court accusing it of violating the Trademarks Act by using the name and logo similar to that of the governing party’s disbanded MK military wing.

The governing party has anchored its arguments on the common law principle of passing off, that is a misrepresentation of an association.

The ANC believes the use of the name by the new party would lead to voter confusion at the May polls.

However, the jurisdiction of the court is imperative because without it, the court cannot consider the merits of the arguments before it.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represented the MK Party in the matter, argued that the Electoral Court was the correct forum to ventilate the matter as the ANC had already invoked Section 16(2) of the Electoral Commission Act.

The judgment delivered by the court will have legal implications for the MK Party’s legal use of the name and logo.

VIDEO: Trademark attorney, Karen Kitchen weighs in on the case: