As reported here by the Nation, Sanitam Services has taken another company to court for infringing its patent AP 773 relating to a sanitary bin. According to the report Sanitam wants Hygiene Bins stopped from supplying bins infringing the patent.
In disputing the infringement claim, Hygiene Bins argued that its bins are imported from Malaysia and that Sanitam is harassing companies dealing in sanitary bins.
It appears that Sanitam is using both civil and criminal provisions provided for in the Industrial Property Act to fight off others who it perceives to be infringing its patent. Section 109 of the Act stipulates that any intentional infringement of a patent constitutes an offence punishable with a fine of between Ksh. 10,000 and Ksh 50,000 or imprisonment for 3 to 5 years.
A week a go a number of executives whose companies were dealing with sanitary bins were taken to court on criminal charges for infringing the same patent.
In February this year as reported here Sanitam obtained an interlocutory injunction against Nairobi Bins for the same patent and in 2006 it obtained permanent injunction against Rentokil in the Court of Appeal.
The latest onslaught comes after the decision by ARIPO removing the patent from the register for non payment of renewal fees was rescinded by the Board of Appeal.