Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned hearing in an N8 billion copyright infringement suit filed against Ecobank Nigeria Limited till 21 September.
The suit was filed by Rolling Innovations and Investment Limited and its Managing Director Anthony Osamudiamen.
In a statement of claims (Suit No. FHC/L/CS/452/2016), filed against bank, the company and Novia, alleged that their copyright to a suite of computer programmes was breached by Ecobank.
According to the plaintiffs, their intellectual property, titled “Patient Specification for Innovation Spend and Save Concept,” which consists of seven programmes, with each suite housing a literary work for which copyright subsists.
The plaintiffs also stated that between June 2008 and 2010, they communicated confidential information to Ecobank, concerning the concept during negotiations for a partnership agreement regarding development and implementation of the scheme.
They further claimed that the said confidential information for the operation of the concept was communicated to Ecobank solely for the purpose of negotiation and entering into an agreement with them for collaboration leading to the use of the bank as one of the implementation platforms.
In addition, Novia and the company stated that on 1 January, 2012, negotiations between them and the bank towards an agreement on technology and marketing collaboration were brought to an abrupt end, with no agreement reached.
Despite this, the plaintiffs added, the bank, since February of the same year, has been using the confidential information for purposes other than which it was provided. As such, Ecobank has illegally been earning profit via making or authorizing the making of a similar package with the name, “Save As You Spend (SAYS) Scheme.” It has also been marketing such as its own version of its “Spend and Save (S&S) Scheme” for which it obtained information related to its workings and operations. This, claimed the plaintiffs, amounted to a breach of the obligations of confidence.
As a result, the plaintiffs, while demanding N8.044billion as compensation, are also asking the court for an injunction restraining Ecobank or its agents from using the information or any part of it and from operating or marketing “Save As You Spend Scheme.”
The plaintiffs also want the court injunction to restrain Ecobank, its directors, officers, or agents from further infringing their copyright.