Belgian Flower Firm Sues Ex-Kenya Staff Over Copyright Infringement

Belgian-owned Vermont Flowers wants a company formed by its former Kenyan employees stopped from exporting flower vases, accusing it of copyright infringement.

Milimani Law Courts

Milimani Law Courts. Belgian-owned Vermont Flowers wants a company formed by its former Kenyan employees stopped from exporting flower vases, accusing it of copyright infringement. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Vermont Flowers wants the High Court to stop Waridi Creations from selling a consignment of flower vases, arguing this will destroy evidence of a copyright infringement case by the flower firm against its ex-workers.

Vermont has accused Godino Mwasaru, Nelson Oware and Jennifer Mumo of counterfeiting its products for Waridi Creations, the company they formed after quitting work at the Belgian-owned company.

The floral vases are made from plant stems, and Vermont claims to have partnered with artists from Belgium, France, Denmark and the UK to manufacture them.

It now claims Waridi Creations is on the verge of exporting a large consignment of flowers vases that have been branded with Vermont’s logo and is likely to destroy evidence of the copyright infringement.

“There is a high chance that the export referred to will destroy crucial evidence of Waridi’s infringement. Unless this application is heard urgently by the court, there is a real likelihood that Waridi will continue with such acts of infringement to the extreme detriment of Vermont,” it said.

Waridi has claimed in its response that Vermont’s chairman Peter Lambert had in a criminal suit said his firm does not own any patent in Kenya.

In the suit, Waridi’s directors are accused of stealing assets from Vermont and are currently out on bond.

Olivier Bodart, a Belgian national alleged to be Waridi’s shadow manager, was also to be charged but has never appeared in court.

“Vermont conceals the fact that in the criminal case, Mr Lambert testified on oath that Vermont had no registered invention or patent in Kenya and that the floral vases are not copyright protected in any country in the world,” said Waridi in its defense.

Vermont has also alleged in its suit papers that Waridi has been colluding with its former Russian agent Torgoviy Vom Vermont to sell counterfeit items in Russia.

Vermont’s new agent, Victoryia Nikolayeva, allegedly alerted Vermont of the sale and of complaints from concerned clients.

– Business Daily

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