Late Kirubi’s firm ordered to refund Ksh.15 million over fake business deal

High Court clarifies what constitutes royalty and payment for copyrighted material

The High Court has ordered Haco Industries Limited to refund Ksh.15 million to Ashok Doshi that he paid 20 years ago for counterfeit products.

Haco is owned by the late business mogul Chris Kirubi.

In a ruling delivered on Monday, March 15, Justice Patrick Otieno ordered Haco Industries and French Manufacturer Société Bic to refund the money it had received from Ashok.

Doshi had paid Haco and Société Bic, the manufacturer of BIC biro point pen, the money to avoid prosecution after he was found in possession of 176 cartons of counterfeit pens disguised as Haco’s original products.

Despite receiving the payment, the two firms went ahead to press criminal charges against Doshi and Doshi Iron Mongers Limited, an undertaking the Judge considered a breach of the agreement.

Doshi’s company had in 1996 found in possession of 176 cartons each containing 72 boxes with each box holding 50 ballpoint pens of Bic ball pens which were allegedly counterfeit and meant to pass off as the products produced and protected by trademark “BIC”.

As a result, Doshi and its directors were arrested and charged with a criminal case but were ultimately acquitted.

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