Friday, April 16, 2010


Banjul, The Gambia(MB)- The managing director of ESCAPAG (Gambia) Ltd has called on the relevant government authorities to stamp out the illegal practice of intellectual property rights infringement in the country so as to create a decent level playing field in the country’s manufacturing industry.

While speaking to this reporter at his office in Kanifing Industrial Estate, Mr. Leo Hubert Gruber said the protection of intellectual property rights will give manufacturers, such as those in the wheelbarrow sector, more courage to be producing quality products for The Gambia and other neighboring countries.

Mr. Gruber’s called for the protection of trade mark was prompted by the fact that the company’s management have become aware that members of the public have been purchasing wheelbarrows from certain businesses without realizing that these wheelbarrows infringe ESCAPAG’s trademark colors for wheelbarrow in particular such colors and design as the yellow frame, green, yellow or red front reinforcement and the silver colored bowl, “upon which ESCAPAG (Gambia) Ltd has exclusive right under the recently gazetted Industrial Property Act Cap: 95:03”.

“The general public and retail sellers in particular are hereby being informed that sale and purchase of trademark infringing wheelbarrows violated several laws of The Gambia in particular the Industrial Property Act Cap: 95:03, the Merchandise Marks Act Cap 95:05 to name a few,” Mr. Gruber said.

He added: “In light of the severe civil and criminal penalty provisions in the above cited laws that are posed by sale and purchase of the trademarked infringing wheelbarrows in the market, the general public and in particular retail merchants are being informed not to purchase from infringers of ESCAPAG’s trademarked wheelbarrows so as to avoid being entangled in complications.”

“ESCAPAG will pursue all legal actions for the protection of its intellectual property rights in its trademarked colors for wheelbarrows”, the MD warned, calling on the general public, retail merchants and assemblers to note that “ESCAPAG (Gambia) Ltd is the only business legally authorizes to sell to the general public and retail merchants in The Gambia wheelbarrows in the above stated trademarked colors.”

The effects of infringement of intellectual property rights can lead to a critical point in terms of the survival of any company and if the fraudulent act continues it can send a business down the path of liquidation.

The protection of intellectual property rights from abuse is as important for companies today as is the protection of computer network from hackers. These infringement costs huge losses in revenue for companies who are victims.

He explained further: “The effects of the violation of the intellectual property rights can be very negative for the producer of the original product because the infringed products are normally cheaper than the original products, so customers prefer to go for the lower price. Normally infringers infringe good that have been successfully introduced in the market and dominated the market.”

He added that the violation in an economy done by infringement can also be very negative in the medium term because it creates a vacuum until customers recognize the advantage and qualities of the originals. “It will create unfair competition, which is not healthy for the economy and also not good for the growth of business in the country,” he said.

ESCAPAG MD made an earnest plea for the protection of intellectual property and offenders to cease their nefarious activities. “Laws are the best weapons to protect intellectual property rights”, he noted.

Mr. Gruber expresses optimism that sooner or later the relevant authorities “will act because infringement of registered trade mark consists of a civil and a fraudulent offence. The civil offence can be solved by the company through a court of law, but the fraudulent offence, which is criminal, is a “state offence” that can only be solved by the concerned authorities.

Despite the heavy infringement of its wheelbarrow, ESCAPAG MD assured his esteemed customers in The Gambia and other countries that ESCAPAG “will continue to satisfy them.”

“As far as ESCAPAG is concerned, the sky is the limit for the manufacturing of high quality and durable wheelbarrow in The Gambia. “Our wheelbarrows are made of steel with silver and yellow handles. Because of the raw material we are using, customers have valued our products”.

Established more than two decades ago, ESCAPAG dubbed as the leading wheelbarrow manufacturer in The Gambia, has been setting records both home and abroad because of it outstanding performance in the international market, which has been exemplified by its winning two international awards namely the Century’s International Quality of the Era in 2004 in Germany and the International Award for Excellence and Business Prestige in America in 2006. ESCAPAG has demonstrated it prowess in the business of wheelbarrow manufacturing both in region and beyond.

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