NLIPW Copyright Law Volume 2 Number 10
(2014 Nigerian IP Judicial Decisions: The Year in Review)
December 4, 2014
2014 has been a busy year for Federal High Courts in Nigeria –Ruling on a suit for patent infringement relating to transparent ballot boxes, operation of a collecting society in Nigeria, ownership of a trademark following the Registrar’s refusal, payment of royalties to a collecting society, damages for a defamatory publication, counterfeiting of alcoholic beverages, and hearing a suit filed by the Federal Government for alleged violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
NLIPW takes a closer look at eight interesting IP cases and decisions from 2014.
1. Bedding Holdings Limited v. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) & 5 Ors.
Suit Nos: FHC/ABJ/CS/816/2010
Judgement delivered on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Justice Ibrahim Auta of the Federal High Court
At issue: Patent Infringement
Facts: On November 25, 2010, Bedding Holdings Limited (the Plaintiff) sued INEC and 5 others (including INEC’s chairman, Professor Attahiru Mohammed Jega, the the Attorney General of the Federation, Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation Limited, Zinox Technologies Limited and Avante International Technology) at the Federal High Court in Abuja for infringing its Patent Rights No. RP 16642 relating to Electronic Collapsible Transparent Ballot Boxes, and Patent Rights No. RP NG/P/2010/202 in respect of Proof of Address System/Scheme (PASS). Both patents relate to the process and application of Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines for the compilation and collection of various biometric information.
The Plaintiff sought the following reliefs:
“A declaration that the Plaintiff is the bona fide owner of the Patent Rights No. RP 16642 and Copyrights Designs No. RD 13841 in and over Electronic Collapsible Transparent Ballot Boxes (ECTBB) and Patent Rights No. RP NG/P/2010/202-Proof of Address System/Scheme (PASS) (Embedded with the Concept of the Coded Metal Plate) and the process and application of these products respectively to produce the Voter’s Register;
A declaration that the contract entered into between 1st and 2nd Defendants (INEC and its chairman, Attahiru Jega respectively) of the one part and the 4th-6th Defendants (Haier Electrical Appliances Corporation Limited, Zinox Technologies Limited and Avante International Technology Incorporation respectively) of the other part for the production, procurement, supply, acquisition, importation, purchase, receipt, sale of the Direct Data Capturing Machines, Laptops and/or the collation/compilation and production of the Voter’s Register for the 2011 general elections or any other elections without first seeking and obtaining the written license, consent and authority of the Plaintiff is a flagrant infringement on the Plaintiff’s Patent Rights No. RP 16642 and Copyrights Designs No. RD 13841 in and over Electronic Collapsible Transparent Ballot Boxes (ECTBB) and Patent Rights No. RP NG/P/2010/202-Proof of Address System/Scheme (PASS) (Embedded with the Concept of the Coded Metal Plate).”
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