Cases Calendar

 April 2024

RCL Foods, a prominent consumer goods company in South Africa, backed by Johann Rupert’s investment holding group, Remgro, has successfully defended the territory of its well-known poultry brand, Rainbow Chicken.

RCL Foods, a JSE-listed company with a market value of R8.4-billion, brought Rainbow Fried Chicken to the businesses’ Tribunal, claiming that the latter’s trademark infringes on that of its own brand, Rainbow Chicken.

RCL Foods contended that consumers would mistake the two names and damage their brand’s ability to do business.

The Tribunal ordered Rainbow Fried Chicken to discontinue using the brand name after finding in favour of RCL Foods. “The intellectual property owners and reputable business names must be protected from ‘those passing themselves or coat-tailing’ on their reputation and goodwill,” reads the Tribunal’s ruling.

“Furthermore, a determination must be made whether the proposed name may mislead the public to believe that there is a non-existent association between two companies that are in fact not associated with each other.”

“This is a substantial industry. As the commission announcement notes, it accounts for 65% of all animal protein consumed in South Africa.

“It is the largest contributor to the agricultural sector with a total annual gross value of production of almost R72-billion in 2022, accounting for 17.1% of total agricultural gross value and 40.3% of total animal product gross value,” it said.

“The poultry industry has for decades supplied South Africa with affordable meat protein.

“If it is to continue to do so, it deserves understanding and support. Through our contributions, we will try to ensure that the inquiry does no further harm to this strategic national industry.”


*This article was written by Bongani Mdakane and it was published on Sunday World,