Rudland loses cigar battle

Court Reporter

Business tycoon Mr Simon George Rudland on Wednesday had his appeal to continue packaging and selling cigarettes under the brand name “RG” thrown out after the High Court upheld its earlier order blocking the distribution of the product on the market. Justice Hlekani Mwayera ruled that the noting of appeal in respect of the order under HC517/ 16 should not suspend the operation of the interim order issued on September 2.“Any appeal against this order can only be made with the prior leave of this honourable court,” said Justice Mwayera while dismissing the bid with costs of suit.

Cigarettes bearing the name “RG” had flooded the market thereby prejudicing the owners of the renowned “Remington Gold” brand that is also shortened as “RG” on the tobacco market.

Savanna Tobacco is the licensed manufacturer and distributor of Remington Gold cigarettes in Zimbabwe.

Two weeks ago, Justice November Mtshiya granted an application by Tonbridge Assets Limited and Cut Rag Processors, who are the legitimate owners of the trademark.

Justice Mtshiya ordered the withdrawal of all such products from the market.

The judge also interdicted the respondents from launching the RG brand in Zimbabwe pending finalisation of the dispute.

Livera should also remove its billboards, posters and other signs that have the RG logo.

On December 12, 2015, Tonbridge bought the Remington Gold brand Cut Rag for $2 million.

Tonbridge paid the price in full, a development that gave it full rights to the brand.

Cut Rag joined the court proceedings confirming Tonbridge as the legitimate brand owner.

Mr Rudland contends that his company’s use of the letters RG was in order because they were his initials.

The judge did not buy his argument saying the same brand had long been built by another cigarettes firm on the same market.

Tonbridge and Cut Rag were the applicants in the matter while Livera Trading, Mr Rudland and Mrs Sarah Rudland were listed as respondents.

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