Why Court has Awarded Willis Raburu KES 5 Million

A photo of Willis Raburu at his former job(Citizen Tv)

A Kenyan court has ruled in favor of Willis Raburu in a trademark infringement case against Airtel Kenya. The judge, Magistrate Musiega, issued an injunction preventing Airtel from using the trademark “Bazu” in any of its broadcast media publications or anything similar to it.

Bazu Willis Raburu
A photo of former 10 over 10 host Willis Raburu

Magistrate Musiega has thus prohibited Airtel from employing the trademark in any broadcast media material or utilizing anything akin to it. Additionally, he mandated Airtel to remit Ksh.5 million for special damages and an extra Ksh.1.5 million for general damages.

Airtel Kenya, however, has been granted a 45-day stay of execution or the option to file an appeal within the same timeframe.

Raburu, represented by lawyer Victor Orandi of Matthew and Partners Advocates, lodged a lawsuit against Airtel Kenya on June 12, 2022, alleging trademark infringement. He contended that despite being granted exclusive rights to the use of ‘Bazu’ for advertising and telecommunications services according to the International Classification of Goods and Services, Airtel had used the trademark.

Airtel Kenya countered by asserting that Raburu sought quick enrichment and a quiet settlement. They argued that ‘Bazu’ had been in use by other parties before Raburu’s registration, thus negating his exclusive rights. Furthermore, they claimed that ‘Bazu’ was a commonly used slang term in the local sheng language and was not originated by Raburu.

Raburu expressed satisfaction with the ruling in a social media post, urging other businesses to respect intellectual property rights. He warned against unauthorized use of the name ‘BAZU,’ stating that similar consequences await those who infringe, as legal notices have been served.

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