Seized counterfeit sanitary pads could benefit needy girls
Publish date: 07 August 2017
Issue Number: 737
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A consignment of thousands of counterfeit sanitary pads, seized by the authorities, could be donated to girls’ schools in Uganda if a local High Court judge has her way. The pads were taken off the market shortly after arriving in Uganda where, as with many other African countries, the shortage and expense of pads are major factors in the dropout rate of girls from school. Judge Flavia Senoga Anglin was presiding in a civil claim brought by Vision Impex against the company that imported the counterfeit goods. Vision Impex proved that the company held the trademark for the popular ‘Feathers’ brand of pads, but that Goldman Logistics had brought in a consignment of pads bearing the name ‘Featlhers’. The slight differences between the two products were intended to mislead the public, the judge held. She awarded damages for loss of sales and for reputational harm. But though she also approved an order that the seized sanitary pads be destroyed, she suggested that they be donated to girls’ schools instead, as they were ‘highly needed’. Legal writer Carmel Rickard, in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, takes a look at the decision, the first reported judgment dealing with the growing problem of counterfeit menstrual pads in Uganda.