Stops opening of office in Lagos
JUSTICE Mohammed Liman of Federal High Court, Lagos, has stopped a firm, Honeywell Automation and Control Solution West Africa Limited from opening its office today (Thursday) as advertised in the dailies for having Honeywell as part of its name.
The court also restrained the firm, its directors, officers, agents and representatives from using Honeywell as part of the company’s name, pending the determination of a motion of notice filed by the Honeywell Group.
The order by the judge was sequel to a motion ex-parte by the Honeywell Group, which includes Honeywell Group Limited, Honeywell Enterprises Ltd, Honeywell Oil and Gas Ltd, Honeywell Energy Resources International Ltd, Honeywell Energy Distribution Ltd, Honeywell Logistics Ltd, Honeywell Africa Infrastructure Company Ltd, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Honeywell Fertilizer Company Ltd and Honeywell Foods Ltd.
In the motion for an interim order filed March 19, 2012, the plaintiffs are praying the court to restrain the defendants (Honeywell Automation and Control Solution West Africa Limited and Corporate Affairs Commission) from using Honeywell in its business name as well as to restrain the firm from the advertised opening of its office in Lagos today.
After hearing A.A. Adedeji, D. Ozoma and Mrs. I. Umeh counsel for the applicant moved in terms of the motion and adopted their written address, and reading the affidavit in support and affidavit of urgency deposed to by Opeoluwa Sangosanya, a senior litigation officer at No. 6b Mekunwen Street, Ikoyi. Justice Liman granted the application as prayed.
The court, however, ordered the applicants to file an undertaking as to damages should it turn out that the application ought not to have been granted.
The judge adjourned hearing on the matter till March 29, 2012.
Also, the plaintiffs, in a statement yesterday by their solicitors, Chief G. O. Sodipo & Co, said they are not related in anyway with Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited and further stated that anyone who deals with Honeywell Automation and Control Solution West Africa Limited does so at his/her own peril, and any action taken by them using the name “Honeywell” is deceptive, illegal, a nullity and a violation of a court order.
The Honeywell Group said the legal action taken became necessary in order to avoid any smear on the reputation and goodwill it has garnered over the years, since Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited refused to obey the directives of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
In the statement, Honeywell Group emphasised that its trade name “Honeywell” was duly registered as a business name in Nigeria in 1971, almost four decades before the inadvertent registration of Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited which the CAC has corrected and reversed itself and has duly directed Honeywell Automation And Control Solution West Africa Limited to equally do so by expunging “Honeywell” from its name.
Furthermore, Honeywell Group noted that since its incorporation in 1971, it has variously registered limited liability companies in its name operating in many sectors of the Nigerian economy, including foods and agro-allied, infrastructure, energy, real estate and services and it was therefore misleading, mischievous and malicious for another company to attempt to ride on its goodwill and reputation by using its trade name without due recourse to it.