Melkama, Konjo hair dyes prohibited in Ethiopia


After a two year delay, the Federal Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Appellate Tribunal ruled that two hair dies, Melkama and Konjo were in violation of a trademark for having similar packaging to Everest Hair Color. As a result they are not allowed to be sold in Ethiopia.
The ruling stated that the products had a similar text font, color, picture and package size which would confuse those wanting to purchase Everest.
Konjo was being imported by Tofik Mohammed while Melkama was being imported by Shikure Hassen. Everest is produced in India and imported by Doshe and Brothers Plc.
The court was presided over by Kocheto Gebreimaraim, Habtamu Mamo and Solomon Ayalew. They levied a fine of five percent of sales from Melkama and Konjo and mandated that all of their products be taken off the market.
The defendants argued that their name was not similar to the Everest hair color and Everest’s package type and picture it used for is not registered in Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO).
Everest hair color is imported from India even though the product was not registered by EIPO, it has been sold in the Ethiopian market for the last 28 years and while Melkama and Konjo were only sold for five years.
The court called EIPO to make statements in the case and EIPO said that since neither Doshe nor the others were registered and that the company which sold its product for a longer period in Ethiopia would be the one allowed to continue being sold. Everest is also attempting to get the court to take similar action against Konjit, Maraki Fiker and Kana hair Colors.
The use of hair dye is increasing in Ethiopia for both women and men. Hair coloring, or hair dyeing, is the practice of changing the hair color. The main reasons for this are cosmetic: to cover gray or white hair, to change to a color regarded as more fashionable or desirable, or to restore the original hair color after it has been discolored by hairdressing processes or sun bleaching.