Airtel Kenya to pay Willis Raburu Sh 6.5 million for using his trademark Bazu

Journalist Willis Raburu. PHOTO/K24TV

Milimani Commercial Court has ordered Airtel Kenya to pay journalist Willis Raburu Sh 6.5 million for using his trademark ‘Bazu’ without authority.

Chief Magistrate Rawlings Musiega awarded Raburu special damages amounting to Sh 5 million and another Sh 1.5 million for general damages.

The court also restrained airtel, ots agents and employees from infringing on the trademark Bazu.

“A permanent injunction is hereby issued restraining the defendant from publishing any material in the print and broadcast media in respect of the plaintiff’s Registered Trademark No. 116744 in respect to the mark ‘BAZU’ and/or any confusing or deceptive mark that directly or substantially is similar to that of the Plaintiff’s,” the magistrate ruled.

However, the court granted Airtel 45 days stay of execution.

Raburu filled the case against the Telco on 24th June 2022 at the high Court but was transferred to Magistrates  Court 9th May 2023.

It was his case that he is the registered owner of the trademark ‘Bazu’ in class 25, 35 and 38 effective 13th April 2021.

“The registration grants the plaintiff the exclusive right to the use of the trade mark in relation to those goods or services classified under ‘advertising and telecommunications services’, in accordance with the International Classification of Goods and Services,” Raburu’s lawyer Victor Orandi submitted.

The cpurt heard that Raburu is utilizing the trademark in advertising, business management, branding, and telecommunication services through the media, including the internet, which records millions of viewership per day.

However, as from December, 2022 the Airtel engaged in an unauthorized use of the trademark ‘BAZU in connection with marketing and promotion of their internet products and services.

It was his argument that the unauthorized use of his trademark constitutes  trademark infringement.