The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has petitioned the High Court, seeking $2 million compensation from the Catholic University in Zimbabwe (CUZ) for allegedly stealing and using its trademark without its permission since last year.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Through its lawyers, Muvingi and Mugadza Legal Practitioners, UZ issued summons against CUZ on September 19, 2018, citing the Catholic-run institution and the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education as first and second defendants, respectively. Both defendants are yet to respond to the litigation.
In its declaration, the UZ said since December 2017 it has been the owner of the trademark “University of Zimbabwe”. But it alleged of late that the Roman Catholic institution that has been using a trademark consisting of the “Catholic University of Zimbabwe” without its permission.
“Plaintiff is (UZ) and has since December 15, 2017 been the registered owner in Zimbabwe of the trademark ‘University of Zimbabwe’, which is registered in classes 25, 37, 41, 42 and 44 in respect of goods and services in terms of the Trade Marks Act. The said registration is and was at all times relevant hereto, of full force and effect,” UZ said.
“Since its incorporation and in recent times, first defendant (CUZ) has been using a mark consisting of the words ‘Catholic University of Zimbabwe’ in relation to its services as a trademark without permission from the plaintiff…in violation of its charter, the first defendant, has on several occasions, traded or operated as the Catholic University of Zimbabwe instead of Catholic University in Zimbabwe.”
The UZ further said the use of its trademark by the CUZ creates a false impression that it is directly related to the State institution and ought to pay $2 million compensation for damages caused to its trademark.
“As a result, plaintiff suffered damages of $2 million being for trademark infringement broken down as, damages of $1 million being a reasonable amount first defendant would reasonably have been expected to pay under the circumstances for its use of the trademark concerned, damages in the sum of $1 million consisting of $500 000 for general damages and $500 000 being punitive damages,” said the institution.
The matter is pending.