A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned hearing in an N8 billion copyright infringement suit involving ROLLING INNOVATIONS & INVESTMENT LIMITED & ANOR V ECOBANK NIGERIA, MR RICHARD ADIELE AND MR. ADEKAYO BALOGUN till September 21.
The claimants filed the suit against the bank and two of its ex-staff claiming that the bank infringed on its copyright and seeking for damages in excess of N8billion against the bank.
The claimants alleged that the bank entered into negotiations with them to adopt their Spend & Save (S & S) Scheme as one of its savings products but that negotiation was not concluded and agreements were not drawn up.
The claimants further claimed that the bank infringed on its copyright by using all confidential information supplied to it during negotiation without their consent/authority and have been making undue profit from the said confidential information under the name “Save As You Spend (SAYS) Scheme” and marketing same as its version of the claimants’ Spend & Save (S & S) Scheme.
The claimants are seeking an order of court restraining the bank from operating/marketing the Save As You Spend (SAYS) Scheme as well as an account for all profits made from the confidential information supplied to the Bank.
However, an Ecobank source said the bank is of the view that the Plaintiffs’ claim for copyright infringement was absurd and could not stand in law. The source noted that though, it is not in dispute that a proposal was made to the bank and that there are also similarities in name and function of the two literary works in issue, it is however a settled principle of law that an idea does not enjoy copyright protection.”The Plaintiffs’ literary work in issue is not novel. The proposal was received over 6 years ago and similar products have since been launched by other banks”, he stated.
The case has been adjourned to 21st of September, 2016, for mention.