Federal High Court Lagos on October 27, set a new date for the hearing of Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) application to dismiss the contempt suit filed by Rite Foods against NBC and warned that the Court would not hesitate to award punitive costs against Rite Foods if it finds no basis for the contempt proceedings.
This follows the September 27 ruling by Justice Aneke, upholding the objection filed by NBC’s counsel, suspending further hearing of Rite Foods’ case and discharging the exparte order obtained by Rite Foods against NBC in February 2021. The Court also refused Rite Foods’ motion for interlocutory injunction seeking to prevent NBC from marketing or distributing Predator Energy drink in Nigeria.
Following this development, Justice Allagoa has now set November 15 to hear NBC’s application to dismiss the contempt suit.
At the hearing on October 27, Mr. O. Opasanya SAN and Mr. Mark Mordi, Counsel to NBC and its Managing Director informed the court that since Rite Foods’ Counsel had failed to withdraw the contempt suit, they had no option than to file a formal motion to have the contempt suit dismissed with substantial costs against Rite Foods. In response, Justice Allagoa warned that the Court would not hesitate to award punitive costs against Rite Foods if it finds no basis for the contempt proceedings.
The Court’s records show that NBC continues to assert that there has been no trademark violation or passing off with its Predator Energy drink and maintains that the Predator brand logo had been in existence and in use in many markets even prior to the launch of Fearless by Rite Foods in the Nigerian market.