Tuesday, July 26, 2016 9:10 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, has adjourned hearing of an N8 Billion Naira copyright infringement suit instituted against Ecobank Nigeria Limited, by a limited liability company, Rolling Innovations and investment Limited and its Managing Director Anthony Osamudiamen till 21th of Septenmber 2016.
The limited liability company, Rolling Innovations and Investments Limited, and its director, Anthony Osamudiamen Novia, in a statement of claims in suit number FHC/L/CS/452/2016, filed before the court against the bank alleged that they wrote a computer program titled “Patient Specification for Innovation, Spend and Save Concept,” with consist of seven programmes, each of the suites comprises a literary work in which copyright subsist.
The plaintiffs further alleged that between June 2008 and 2010, they a communicated confidential information to the defendant (Ecobank), concerning the ‘Spend and Save Concept’, during the course of negotiations for conclusion of an agreement for partnership in the concept development and implementation of the scheme.
The plaintiffs further stated that the said confidential information for the operation of the ‘Spend and Save Concept’ was communicated to the defendant for sole and limited purpose of negotiation and entering an agreement with the defendant for collaboration for use of the defendant as one of the platforms for the implementation of their ‘Spend and Save Concept’.
The plaintiffs also stated that by January 1, 2012, negotiation between the parties for conclusion of an agreement for technology and marketing collaboration for their ‘Spend and Save Scheme terminated without any such agreement being concluded.
They stated further that in breach of the said obligations of confidence and without their consent, authorization or license, the bank has, since the month of February or thereabout, been making use of the said confidential information rather than for the purpose for which it was supplied them. Worse still, it has unlawfully been making profits for themselves by making or authorizing the making of similar package under the name ‘Save As You Spend (SAYS) Scheme’. It has also been marketing same as its own version of their Spend and Save (S&S) Scheme’.
Consequently, the plaintiffs while demanding for 8 Billion compensation are also urging the court for an injunction restraining Ecobank Nigeria Limited, whether by itself, its servants or agents or otherwise whosoever, from using the confidential information or any part thereof for which it was supplied, and from operating or marketing the said ‘Save As You Spend Scheme or otherwise exploiting the said information or any part thereof.
The plaintiffs also want the court injunction restraining the bank (whether acting by its directors, officers, servants or agents or any of them or otherwise howsoever) from further infringing their copyright in the suite in the programmes entitled ‘Patent Specification for Innovative Spend and Save (S & S) Concept’.
The plaintiffs want the court to award the sum of N8.044 billion, as damages for infringement of their rights, breach of confidence, exemplary and punitive damages for flagrancy of the infringement of copyright and breach of confidence, and special damages against the bank.
The author of this story Akin Kuponiyi can be reached at [email protected]