East Africa grapple with patent infringement problem

SURVIVAL in the market for East Africa’s sole manufacturer of tourist vehicles’ bodies and 4x4 accessories, RSA Limited of Moshi, hangs in balance due to patent infringement.

The company’s Managing Director Mr Manmohan Bhamra told the Business Standard in an exclusive interview that they plan to expand its scope of products and services by assembling plants in East Africa, Southern Africa and Middle East but their efforts are ruined by some people who copy their work and produce substandard products.

“Having our product protected by the Intellectual Property Rights in relevant countries and following the great achievements as far as our services were concerned we have decided to expand our scope of services by introducing new assembly plants in East Africa, Southern Africa and the Middle East,” he said.

According to him, following the recognition and durability of its best products outside the country, which he said included various models of Safari Cruisers, they decided to open assembly plants outside of Tanzania and export all its manufactured components from their HQ in Tanzania.

Ever since the company innovated the Safari Cruiser 7X (converted from Land Cruiser 70 series) in the early 2000’s, its product has become of great demand and famous across Africa and beyond.

He said, its tourist body products have been highly recognised by customers for its design of usability without compensating its product quality, durability and performance.

“The main motive of expanding our scope of services as far as the production of products are concerned is to move our services closer to our clients so that they could get our products closer to where they are on reasonable prices’’, he said.

He Further said that RSA highly appreciated Toyota for its support in various countries by supplying the well innovated and durable Land Cruiser (70 series), which has been tested and proven to be very successful in the market.

The Managing Director Mr Manmohan Bhamra told the Minister for Trade and Industry, Joseph Kakunda, who was on an official visit in Kilimanjaro region recently, that company suffers patent infringement of its products which threatens its future.

“The RSA Ltd patent no. TZ/P/00080, was issued by BRELA since November, 2004 and which we maintain to date…(but) there are those who are infringing our products.

They are copying our work, we appeal to relevant authorities to intervene and save our good innovation,” he said.

He said those who infringed on RSA Ltd products were ruining the company’s good innovation by making sub-standard products which affect the RSA Ltd market.

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