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Court strikes out copyright infringement suit against Nigerian Breweries

court strikes out copyright infringement suit against nigerian breweries

From Romanus Okoye, Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out a suit filed by Mr Paul Allen Oche against Nigerian Breweries Plc and three others over alleged copyright infringement.

In the suit filed in February 2019, Mr Oche had claimed (amongst other reliefs) the sum of N1.5 billion being damages against the Company for the alleged breach of his copyright in the work “The Amstel Factor: An Amstel Malta guide on how to be the best you can be”.

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In a considered ruling on the notice of preliminary objection filed by Nigerian Breweries Plc, Justice Binta Nyako held that Mr Oche had no locus standi to institute and maintain the suit and consequently struck it out. Nigerian Breweries Plc had stated in the preliminary objection that Amstel Malta is one of the well-known brands in its portfolio for which it had launched several campaigns over the years and that Mr Oche was laying a false claim to the copyright in one of such campaigns launched in 2016.

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Oche had earlier lodged a similar criminal complaint at the Nigerian Copyright Commission leading to a criminal charge against the Company at the same Federal High Court. After a further review, the Commission withdrew the charge against the Company in October 2019.

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