Photo Credit: Gallo Images.
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed with costs, actress Connie Ferguson’s appeal on her Connie Men shower gel product outlook against Nivea.
Owners of Nivea Beiersdorf had sued Connie in December 2017.
Koni is a recent supplier of body care products and was established in 2012 by actor, presenter and model Connie Ferguson and Joseph Nchabeleng.
The high court in 2019 interdicted Koni Multinational Brands from competing unlawfully with Nivea by passing off Connie's men shower gel products as being those of Nivea.
It accused Ferguson of passing off the products as Nivea’s. Ferguson had previously accused the German company of bullying.
Judge Denise Fisher last month ruled that the Connie Men shower gel product packaging was confusingly similar to that of Nivea products.
The majority of SCA judges, Schippers JA with Cachalia JA and Sutherland, and Unterhalter AJJA maintained that Ferguson was set out to deceive customers by making a product look like Nivea’s.
The SCA said that Nivea had established its brand, had acquired a particular reputation, and was the market leader. It said that Nivea Men shower gel dominated the market in advertising, customer recognition, and sales.
The SCA found that the logo on the Connie shower gel was an appropriation of the Nivea Men wave-label indicia on the same kind of product, so as to connect to it a known and established brand and that the get-up, overall appearance, and format of the Connie shower gel is confusingly similar to that of Nivea products.
This would now mean that Ferguson must delete images of the copycat product from signage, websites, and social media platforms as per the initial ruling High Court in Johannesburg by judge Fisher.