The Honeywell Group, a foremost Nigerian conglomerate, has insisted that it will do everything possible within the confines of the law to protect its trade-name “Honeywell” from infringement by another company called Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions West Africa Limited.
Earlier, Honeywell international and its affiliate Honeywell Automation and Control Solution West Africa Limited, have brought an action against Honeywell Nigeria for trademark infringement and passing-off, and is demanding N20billion as damages.
The international group claims that Honeywell Nigeria has taken undue and unauthorised advantage of the reputation and goodwill of “HONEYWELL” Trademarks worldwide which were adopted from the name of one of its founders, Mark Honeywell over 106 years ago.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian group has vowed to protect its trade name.
The Honeywell Group is saying this following the ruling in its favour by Honourable Justice I.M. Liman of the Federal High Court Lagos on the 26th of June 2012, which dismissed application for Stay of Execution of the Order restraining the defendant, Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions West Africa Limited, from using the trade-name “Honeywell” as part of its company name.
The reason for the dismissal of the application of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions West Africa Limited, according to the ruling, was because it did not show special cause why the Stay of Execution should be granted. Hon. Justice Liman further stated that Honeywell Group Limited was entitled to the fruit of the ruling in its favour.
In a statement by Honeywell Group following the ruling, the company insisted that, as a responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen, it will only work within the ambits of the law to protect the obvious infringement on its trade-name by Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions West Africa Limited.
The Honeywell Group said it was the first to officially register the trade-name “Honeywell” in Nigeria four decades ago and the legal action it has embarked on was necessary to avoid any smear on the reputation and goodwill it has reaped over the years, since Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited refused to obey the directives of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
According to Honeywell Group, the CAC had in a letter written to Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited on the 20th of January, 2012 directed it to change its name by expunging the word “Honeywell” within six weeks due to the existence of the trade name “Honeywell” registered prior to that of Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited. In the letter, the CAC had acted in exercise conferred on it pursuant to Section 31 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
It will be recalled that the Honeywell Group Limited on the 19th of March, 2012 obtained a court order, granted by the Honourable Justice I. M. Liman restraining Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited from using the name “Honeywell” as part of its company name and restraining it from opening its office as advertised.
Honourable Justice Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Friday 20th April, 2012 struck out the application of Honeywell Automation to set aside the order restraining it from using the name “Honeywell”. The court also granted the application of Honeywell Group Limited for interlocutory injunction restraining the defendant from using the name “Honeywell”.