The judicial system of Liberia is like being drown to a erious test in a case involving one of the biggest importers of rice in the country. SWAT, one of the leading rice dealer’s companies in Liberia, has been sued by a trademark company, the Liberia Industrial Property Company.
A document obtained from the offices of the Liberia Industrial Property (LIP) Company headed by Mohamed Dukuly has raised serious concern over how the Supplying West Africa Trading (SWAT) Incorporated obtained its Trademark in 2011 as sole importer of a special kind of rice called “BELLA LUNA” in Liberia.
According to a document which is in the possession of this paper, SWAT was granted a “Certificate of Registration of Trademark” to import the BELLA LUNA Rice on the 22nd of December 2011 for the period of 10 years.
But Certificate of Registration of Trademark which apparently bears the seal of Liberia, named of LIP, a literary stamp and symbol of trademark to SWAT was issued on 30th of December 2011, indicating the Certificate was not granted SWAT at all.
The Certificate of Registration of Trademark was purportedly signed on behalf of LIP by an unidentified acting “Director General” whose name not mentioned.
The communication quoted Counselor J. Johnny Momoh, Counselor-At-Law; Sherman acting on behalf of SWAT filed the registration in the Bureau of Patents and Trademark in the category of goods falling in international classes 30 and 31.
A copy of the Document reads: Certificate of Registration of Trade Mark LR/M/2011/00163; To
All To Who These Presents Shall Come
Known ye that on 30th December 2011. J. Johnny Momoh, Counselor-At-Law, Sherman DID submit for registration in the Bureau of Patents and Trademarks for the following Trademark reproduced herein BELLA LUNA RICE For goods falling in international classes 30 and 31: Food Items AND THESE PRESENTS do certify that the said Trade Mark was duly registered in the Register of Trademarks for the period of ten (10) years.” The document continued: “Given under my hand and the seal of the International Property Office, Republic of Liberia this 22nd day of December in the year of our Lord A.D 2011 Acting Director General.”
Meanwhile, when contacted Administrative Manager of SWAT, Mrs. Musu S. Henries said, she was not prepared to respond to the matter on grounds that she’s taking the Sunday as a day of rest. When quizzed as to whether she has any information relating to the documents, she maintained that not to comment on the matter.
According to Mr. Dukuly, SWAT said it will use its financial power “to get out of this. These people believe that money can make them change court ruling. I believe that this is a test for our judicial system.” He said.