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Rosa Kahata back on the shelves

The Commercial High Court yesterday made an order vacating an enjoining order made against George Steuart Teas Ltd., whereby the said company was prevented from inter alia selling, distributing and/or advertising the ‘Steuarts Rosa Kahata’ brand of tea.

Action had been initiated against George Steuart by Unilever Lipton Ceylon Ltd., alleging among other things that George Steuart was engaging in an unfair trade practice with regards to the usage of the brand name ‘Rosa Kahata’.

The plaintiff had inter alia contended that they are entitled to claim exclusivity with regard to an advertising campaign centered on a character named ‘Rosa’ and that they had developed a jingle accordingly.

The defendant submitted that they are entitled to use the trade name ‘Rosa Kahata’ in terms of the applicable law and that the plaintiff has instituted an action legally not maintainable and that the plaintiff did not possess the claimed intellectual property rights.

Objections were made by George Steuart against the tenability and legality of the said orders. After considering extensive submissions made by both parties, the Commercial High Court vacated the said orders.

Faiszer Musthapha PC, Pulasthi Rupasinghe and Charaka Jayaratne appeared for George Steuart. Dinal Phillips PC instructed by Julius and Creasy appeared for the plaintiff company.
In a statement, George Steuart teas said Rosa Kahata entered the local market in December 2013 and within a short span of time was distributed island-wide due to its popularity among distributors and consumers.

“During the five-week period of the court injunction, supermarket and retailer shelves carrying the product had been completely bare showcasing the strong demand for the brand,” the statement claimed.
Rosa Kahata comprises only the best tea, resulting in a shelf life of up to three years with experienced blenders providing consistent taste and flavour to consumers. The product is packaged using international standard premium triple laminated packaging and is certified by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Rosa Kahata is available at all leading supermarket chains in Sri Lanka.
George Steuart Teas is a part of George Steuart and Company, Sri Lanka’s oldest mercantile establishment and is one of the country’s foremost exporters of Ceylon Tea, with a suite of exclusive tea-based products and value added packaging.

The ‘Steuart Tea’ range of teas includes black tea, green tea, herbal tea and flavoured tea which make up the bulk of the export portfolio, destined for key global markets. In 2013, George Steuart also embarked on a new journey to market the best of pure Sri Lankan tea to the delight of the Sri Lankan consumer.