- CITIGROUP INC. & ANOR. V CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION & 5 ORS.
We were the first to commence litigation for CITI Bank and established the practice in Nigeria of being able to sue the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) in a case where two names are confusingly similar. CAC had inadvertently given a company such similar name previously approved for another company which was first in time. Other Law firms had told CITI Bank this was impossible but we got judgement in favour of CITI Bank.
In the above case our firm was retained by the Plaintiffs to institute an action at the Federal High Court compelling the 1st Defendant to remove the names of the other 5 Defendants from the Register of Companies as their names as constituted are in conflict with the existing trademark of the Plaintiffs “CITICORP”.
Upon service of the Originating Summons on the defendants, parties filed papers in opposition and the Court, upon hearing the Originating summons, granted all our prayers in its entirety and the 2nd to 6th Defendants were Ordered to changed their names and the 1st Defendant was ordered by the Court to remove the offending names from the Register of Companies.
2. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT DELTA STATE V WEATHERFORD NIGERIA LTD.
The firm was retained by the Defendant to defend the suit against it by the Ministry of Environment Delta State for the recovery of money allegedly owed to it for the operations of the Defendant in Delta state.
We filed papers in court challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to entertain such a matter, and as parties were not averse to settlement, a settlement was negotiated and agreed on by parties and the matter was successfully settled out of court.
3. TONBOFA ASHIMI & ANOR. V THE VESSEL M.V RELIANCE STAR & 5 ORS.
The Plaintiff was appointed as the receiver manager by the Asset management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON to recover the assets/debts owed by the 2nd Plaintiff Company and sued the Defendants to recover debts owed.
We were retained to defend the 4th Defendant and the party sought to be joined in the suit as 7th Defendant.
Parties were served with the ex-parte Order of court freezing the account of the party sought to be joined as 7th Defendant and garnishee proceeding were commenced against the various accounts of the 2nd Plaintiff, garnishees filed their applications to show cause and we filed an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear this matter.
Garnishees were duly discharged, based on the affidavits they filed, and the parties entered into a successful settlement negotiations and the terms of settlement were drawn up, signed and entered as the Judgment of Court.
4. TEXACO INC. & ANOR. V MR. VINCENT
We were retained by the Plaintiff to institute this action for the infringement of their trademarks in “URSA”; we filed papers and obtained an Anton Pillar Order which was successfully executed, judgment was obtained against the Defendant for the infringement of the Plaintiffs trademark.
5. HONEYWELL GROUP & ORS V HONEYWELL AUTOMATION &CONTROL SOLUTIONS W.A. LTD & ORS.
Our office was retained to institute this action on behalf of the Plaintiffs for infringement / breach of the trademark, trade name and brand in the name “HONEYWELL” a registered trademark belonging to the Plaintiffs. We successfully obtained an interim injunction against the 1st Defendant from the use of the registered trademark.
Parties thereafter entered into negotiations in a bid to resolve the impasse and a successful resolution was negotiated between the parties and parties settled the matter and the terms of settlement was entered as a Consent judgment of the Court.
6.TEXACO V DE YOUNG & 11 ORS – Our firm advised, represented and successfully obtained an anton pillar (search and seizure) order and other injunctive orders against the plaintiff’s trademark infringers
7.ADE OREKOYA & BAMIDELE OREKOYA V ACCENTURE LIMITED & 3 ORS – Our firm advised and successfully represented the plaintiff in a copyright infringement matter, obtaining a Consent Judgment against the defendants.
8. MOTOROLA SOUTH AFRICA - Advised on relevant clauses in employment contract.
9. TV AFRICA/CHANNELS TV –EURO 2000:
Obtaining and enforcing a court injunction against the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the regulatory agency for broadcasting. The NBC had declared that our client, an international service provider, TV AFRICA based in South Africa was an illegal broadcasting station. Without the restraining court order, our clients who had acquired the rights to EURO 2000 and were providing services which enabled their over 10 Nigerian affiliate NBC licensed broadcasting stations would either have been closed down or millions of dollars in sponsorship and advertising revenues would have been lost.
Clearing and advising on all legal issues including tax and copyright leading to the decision by MNET/MULTICHOICE to come to Nigeria. Conducting due diligence on partners and assisting with setting them up. Opinion given enabled clients to negotiate and buy rights to programmes.
11. MNET/TV AFRICA:
Advising on piracy issues.
12. NIGERIA 99
Advising local organising committee on viability of the legal framework to combat ambush marketing. Based on our advice, the then Head of State of Nigeria, General Abubakar announced that laws would be changed.
13. NIGERIA 99
Advising local organising committee on the under – FIFA World Cup championship on the contract with the Nigerian government especially on the broadcast rights.
14. GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC
Advising Guinness on claims by the Nigerian soccer star, Kanu Nwankwo that client had infringed its endorsement and other rights. Based on our opinion and the draft letter prepared by our firm but which we insisted should be on client’s letter head, Kanu’s lawyers dropped the claims and the threats of litigation.
15. CADBURY NIGERIA PLC
Advising Cadbury on claims by ISL, FIFA’s marketing agent that client had infringed FIFA’s right to WORLD CUP 98 by its promotional advert on CADBURY’S BOURNVITA. Based on our draft letter which was on Cadbury’s letter head, ISL/FIFA dropped the claims and litigation threats.
16. DR. ALBAN
Advised Dr. Alban, the Nigerian leading pop star based in Sweden on the use of his music IT’S MY LIFE in Nigeria.
17. FILM, TELEVISION AND HOME VIDEO RIGHTS CLEARANCE SERVICE:
Given that we act for some of the major HOLLYWOOD studios, we negotiated for some of these rights on behalf of clients
18. NIGERIA BREWERIES PLC
for promoting their brand, LEGEND. There was an out of court settlement for an undisclosed sum.
19. CHARLY BOY vs MNET:
Acted for leading Nigerian producer, Charly Boy whose CHARLY BOY SHOW had been infringed by MNET. Obtained injunction against MNET and ensured matter was eventually settled.
20. GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC
We advised GUINNESS on the claims by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission NBC, (the regulatory authority for broadcasting) that it should remove its logo from its GUINNESS TV series.
Acted for Onyeka Onwenu who staged the first hunger strike by a Nigerian artiste in front of the Nigerian Television Authority NTA Lagos to enforce her rights to the use of her music for the signature tune of one of the NTA channels and for the payment of fees for repeat broadcasts which NTA has not been paying for over two decades.
Defended suit against client sued by a Nigerian bank for setting up and hosting a counterfeit web site. Some Nigerian fraudsters had used our client’s name to set up a counterfeit web site of a Nigerian bank. Through administrative means in the United States of America, we caused the site to be deleted and the domain name locked
23. COMPUTER SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE SERVICE
Drafting contracts for companies that are providing all the computer hardware and software service and maintenance of all Guinness operations in Nigeria.
24. TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES:
Drafted the contract for the provision of equipment and support services for the telecommunication needs of Guinness in Nigeria.
Acting on and advising on a UK litigation on issues of interconnectivity billing and insolvency.
Contract review for a telecommunication’s company’s value added services space development.
25. SPONSORSHIP AND ENDORSEMENTS:
Drafting endorsement and sponsorship contract between Nigerian Breweries P.l.c. and Charly Boy for the CHARLY BOY-LEGEND SHOW.
Arranging, organizing and speaking at conferences on all aspects of our practice. The last major conference was a four-day conference held at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi in September 2002 in association with the Nigerian Communications Commission. We have organized and delivered papers at the following, :
“The Creator’s Copyright” a five day workshop organized by G.O Sodipo and Co at the United States Information Services Lagos in September 1989.
Nigerian Judicial Institute, Judges Conference organised by G.O Sodipo and Co in April 16-17, 2014.
“Intellectual Property and the Obligation of Company Officials under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act”, paper delivered at the Centre for Law and Business Cybercrime Symposium Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos in October 14, 2015
“Lobbying for reforms in the administration, adjudication and enforcement of intellectual property rights” being a paper delivered at the HP Anti-Counterfeiting Summit, Johannesburg, April, 2014
“Introduction to IP Crime”, a paper delivered at the INTERPOL training for law enforcement officers, Lagos, June 13, 2011.
“Electronic transactions: towards a paperless economy”, paper presented at the US Embassy ICT May 2010 Conference
“Building a Sports Practice: Football Contracts”, a paper delivered at NBA, Lagos Chapter March 10, 2008
Due diligence and perfecting documentation on a facility of $1.5 Million USD for a telecommunications company.
28. SOFTWARE INFRINGEMENT
Defending a suit against a bank and setting aside interim injunction against ZENITH BANK on the grounds that the Plaintiff is not even the copyright owner of the software in question.
29. ADVISING REGULATORY AUTHORITIES:
We are regularly consulted by a number of regulatory authorities in the field including the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission; the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion; the Registry of Trade Marks, Patents and Designs and sometimes by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control NAFDAC and the Nigerian Communication Commission NCC.
30. BROADCASTING/SPORT LAW:
Advising on issues pertaining to rights of foreign right holders.
Advising Banks and Multinational companies on outsourcing.
Drafting and Advising computer software companies on procurement, facilities management and other training contracts.
32. Debt Recovery and Arbitration
Most of our Clients have been given judgement in their favour and we recently won an arbitration in favour of Unilver in a 5billion Naira dispute against it by Linkpoint.
Negotiation & drafting licenses for channel operators and programme provision and assisting with setting up & operating a new satellite television and telecommunications outfit.
34. AUDIO-VISUAL RIGHTS SOCIETY OF NIGERIA LTD/GTE
We organized and conducted a successful election for the AVRS Board in Nigeria on the 29th day of March, 2016.
35.Unilever Nigeria PLC v. Givanas Nigeria Ltd (instituted in 2017)
We represented the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant’s tea named ‘Tea Pot Quality Premium Tea’ constitutes an unfair competition/passing off of the Plaintiff’s ‘Lipton Yellow Label Tea’; injunctive reliefs and damages in the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira). The Defendant claimed that the names were so materially different from each other. The institution of this suit moved the defendant to settle. The parties subsequently settled the matter out of court.
36. Societe Bic S. A. & Anor v. Sparkle Crystal
We successfully represented the Petitioner. The Petitioner claimed against the Respondent for a declaration that the design in the name of Sparkle and Crystal Ltd was null and void pursuant to S. 22 of the Patent and Design Act, 1970; rectification of the Register of Design by cancellation thereof of the registered design and injunctive reliefs. The reliefs of the Petitioners were granted.
37. International Energy Services Limited v. Integrated Energy Services Nigeria Ltd & Anor.
We successfully represented the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff claimed against the Defendant for a Declaration that
(a)the 1st Defendant company’s name ‘Integrated Energy Services Nigeria Limited (IESL)’ is similar to and so nearly resembles the Plaintiff company’s name ‘International Energy Services Limited (IESL) as to be likely or calculated to deceive, which is in contravention of section 30(1)(a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004;
(b)An order compelling 2nd Defendant to comply with its enabling law and remove the 1st Defendant’s name and any other similar name from the Register of companies at the Corporate Affairs Commission.
(c) Injunctive reliefs and damages in the sum of N10,000,000.00.
The court agreed with us and granted all the reliefs sought.
38. Registration of service agreements, involving trademarks license, technology license and at the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion for Unilever Nigeria PLC and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.
39. We recently drafted and facilitated the execution of a Book Adaptation Right and Production Agreement between our client Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Foundation and Ashvault Limited.
40. CSI Anti-Counterfeiting Technology International Limited (also doing business in the name and style of CS Consortium) V. NAFDAC (decided in 2017)
We successfully defended our client. The Plaintiff claimed breach of contract, wrongful illegal constructive termination of appointment, general aggravated damages in the sum of N200,000,000.00 etc. The Court held in favour of the Defendant that the absence of express terms of relationship between the parties, means there was no valid and enforceable contract. The suit was consequently dismissed.