* In honour of being transparent, the below was written by the Woolworths lawyers and approved by me.
We are pleased to announce that Ubuntu Baba and Woolworths have reached a positive and amicable resolution.
As a primarily private label business and given this recent experience, Woolworths will be putting into place additional measures to avoid a similar incident arising in the future. Some examples of these enhanced measures include an Intellectual Property e-learning module to ensure enterprise-wide reach of training, increasing Intellectual Property training to Woolworths employees and all relevant suppliers, and to explore additional systems functionality to support these measures.
In addition, Woolworths will not be retaining any profits from the sale of its baby carriers and instead, will donate a large portion of those proceeds to a credible institution with a view to educating, supporting and developing SMEs in South Africa. The remaining proceeds will be paid to Ubuntu Baba.
The concerns raised by Ubuntu Baba around Woolworths instructions for the baby carriers are being resolved in conjunction with Ubuntu Baba and credible international experts appointed by Woolworths.
As mentioned in previous communications, Woolworths will donate the baby carriers to parents in under-resourced communities.
Finally, investigations into the matter have confirmed that the two Woolworths employees referenced in Ubuntu Baba’s blog, purchased the Ubuntu Baba baby carriers as legitimate mothers-to-be, who work for Woolworths but in completely unrelated departments.
Both Ubuntu Baba and Woolworths are committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs and small businesses are uplifted and supported. We hope that the learnings and positive outcomes of this incident will be used to drive continued SME development in South Africa.