Court rules trademark row in favour of Delta Airlines

Published on 06/06/2009

By Evelyn Kwamboka

The US carrier— Delta Airlines —has been allowed to exclusively use its registered trademark in Kenya. Delta Airlines that cancelled its direct link between Nairobi and Atlanta this week, is to use the word “Delta” after a local company, Delta Connection Limited’s bid to use the same was thwarted by Court of Appeal.

Delta Connection moved to Court of Appeal after the High Court issued orders restraining it from using the word “Delta” on its aircraft tickets, flight schedules and other printed material.

In a ruling, appellate judges Justices Riaga Omolo, Emmanuel O’kubasu and Philip Waki struck out the provisional application on grounds that it was incompetent. This means Delta Connection will proceed with the appeal without operating using the word “Delta”.

In its interlocutory application, Delta Connection wanted the appellate judges to stop execution of the High Court’s order, pending hearing and determination of its appeal.

Arguable Appeal

The application was on grounds that the local company has an arguable appeal and it would be rendered useless if the appellate judges do not stop execution of the High Court order. Through its advocate, Mr Milton Mugambi, the company argued that it did not infringe on the trademark because it commenced operations in March 2004, while Delta Airlines was incorporated in the US.

It argued that Delta Airlines obtained registration and trademark in Kenya after Delta Connections had started its operations.

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