Reprieve for EABL in dispute over use of its beer bottles

A Nairobi court yesterday allowed East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) to only collect beer bottles with its engravings.

Commercial court judge Grace Nzioka gave the beer maker the green light to effect an advert it ran last month, with a caveat that there will be no more offensive adverts from the firm or from its competitor, Keroche Breweries.

“They (EABL) will not do any other publication but will continue collecting their bottles that are already in the market. To stop them will be unfair,” Justice Nzioka directed.

SEE ALSO :Bottle row hurts bar owners

At the heart of the fight is who among the two brewers owns the brown and green bottles used for packaging the beer. The case before the court was filed by distributors of Keroche’s products who complained of harassment by the police for distributing beer in bottles engraved with EABL.

Light moment

There was a light moment in court as the distributors’ lawyer Irungu Kang’ata tried to demonstrate that police cannot differentiate between a bottle owned by EABL and that of Keroche.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.  

According to the lawyer, who is also Murang’a Senator, the only solution to the fight was that each company to concentrate on labelling the beer but leave the bottle for universal use. Kang'ata, who was armed with a carton full of Balozi beer bottles and others which were unmarked but engraved EABL initials, raised two bottles high up to demonstrate that the two bottles were not distinguishable.

Meanwhile, EABL’s lawyer Kamau Karori told the judge that Keroche was using its distributors to fight back while there was a separate case where it had consented to an order that it would not use EABL bottles to package its beer.

SEE ALSO :Growers to reap fruits of new barley seed

Kamau argued that it would be unfair to allow other companies use bottles that it had manufactured.

The court will make its ruling on January 24. 

Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.

Get the latest summary of news in your email every morning. Subscribe below

* indicates required
EABLKeroche BreweriesCourt dispute