The Court of Appeal has ruled that Dr. Clement Uwemedimo of Commandclem Nigeria Limited is the statutory inventor of the Anti-Corrosive Special Paint for QIT (Transteel Blue, White Enamel) used in the production of crude oil, condensate, liquefied natural gas and other products.
In a judgement delivered by Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, the Appeal Court, Calabar Division, held that on the basis of Section 2 of the Patents and Designs Act Cap 433, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, the right to a patent in respect of an invention is vested in the statutory inventor, that is to say, the person who, whether or not he is the true inventor, is the first to file, or validly to claim a foreign priority for a patent application in respect of the invention.
Justice Akaahs said the evidence adduced by Dr. Uwemedimo and Commandclem Nigeria Limited dates back to 1980 when the right to sue on the patent had accrued, noting that any infringement by the respondents or any other person will be actionable at the instance of the appellants starting from August 5, 1999 when the patent was registered by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He said: “The learned trial judge was right to hold that at the time the defendant was said to have infringed plaintiff’s patent in the early 1980s, the plaintiffs did not have any patent to be infringed.
The plaintiffs only obtained their patent No. RP 13522 on August 5, 1999. At the time the Court of Appeal ruled that the claims in paragraph 29 (iii) (iv), (v) and (viii) of the Amended Statement of Claim were not affected by the Limitation Law, there was no consideration of the evidence to be adduced. If the evidence sustaining the reliefs fell between 1999 and 2001, the action would be maintained. “I am of the view that the respondent can enjoy the benefit created by S.2(4) of the Patents and Designs Act when a contract was subsisting between the parties at the time of the invention.”
On the issue of agreement between Dr. Uwemedimo or CommandClem Nigeria Limited and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, to pay to Uwemedimo US$2.00 per barrel for every petroleum product produced by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Justice Akaahs held that the law does not require that every contract must be in writing unless it is a contract made under seal or it is required by statute.
He said: “If indeed there was any verbal agreement made by the defendants (Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited) to pay the sum of $2.00 for every barrel of crude oil produced, the plaintiffs (Uwemedimo) were too hasty in making their “invention” known within so short a time between the first contact by the first plaintiff with the defendants on May 2, 1980 and the research results on June 26, 1980 as chronicled in exhibit 8A.
Justice Akaahs ruled that he did not agree that an agreement to pay $2.00 per barrel of every petroleum product to the plaintiffs would necessarily be against public policy.
He said: “There is no evidence to presume that the agreement being envisaged was to circumvent the provisions in the Petroleum Act or that it will prevent Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from paying royalties to the Federal Government. An agreement freely entered into by the parties will be enforceable unless the agreement will facilitate the commission of a crime or breach any law.”
NSE Begins Week On Negative Note, Loses N19.49bn
The Nigerian stock market began the week on a negative note as banking and consumer goods stocks, among others, triggered a N19.49bn loss.
At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited , the NGX All-Share Index dropped by 0.09 per cent to end at 43,270.94 basis points, while the market capitalisation declined to N22.58tn.
Market activities were mixed as the total volume of shares traded decreased by 30.19 per cent while the value traded rose by 34.05 per cent.
A total of 213.13 million shares valued at N2.36bn were exchanged in 4,105 deals, compared to 305.32 million shares worth N3.58bn in 4,450 deals last Friday.
FCMB Group Plc topped the traded stocks in terms of volume, accounting for 27.43 per cent of the total volume of trades while Airtel Africa Plc emerged as the most traded stock by value, representing 28.81 per cent of the total value of trades on the exchange.
14 firms gained compared to 21 losers.
AIICO Insurance Plc was the biggest gainer for the day, topping the gainers’ chart with a price appreciation of 8.57 per cent to N0.76 per share.
It was followed by LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc with a rise of 7.95 per cent, ending the day at N0.95 per share.
Analysing by sectors, three of the five major indices closed lower, led by NGX Oil & Gas (-0.56 per cent), NGX Consumer Goods (-0.23 per cent) and NGX Banking (0.18 per cent).
But the insurance (0.82 per cent) and industrial goods (0.002 per cent) indices gained at the end of trading.
… Introduces TIES To Boost Business Loan
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), which provides undergraduates and graduates with a platform to access loans.
The TIES’ underlying aim is to provide access to capital for Nigerian undergraduates and graduates with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas from polytechnics and universities.
TIES intends to shift undergraduates and graduates away from white-collar job pursuits and towards a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.
In a national biennial entrepreneurship competition, the Developmental Component would be distributed in the form of awards to Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
The competition aims to increase undergraduates’ awareness and visibility of high-impact entrepreneurial/technological concepts, foster entrepreneurial talent hunts in Nigerian polytechnics and universities, and encourage commercially viable and transformative technologies.
Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a dedicated online portal.
Outlining brief details of the project, potential impact and evidence of originality of project, CBN said it is an innovation for students entrepreneurs.
CITN Applauds FG, Tax Authorities On Fiscal Policy Decisions
The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has lauded the Federal Government and tax authorities on the giant strides made on fiscal policy decisions and tax administration measures initiated this year in the area of Finance Act 2021 and the introduction of TaxPromax solution.
President of the institute, Adesina Adedayo, who gave the commendation at the institute’s yearly award ceremony at the weekend in Lagos, assured the government and tax authorities of aligning with the measures and promised to provide professional thoughts and insights on ways through which they could achieve an efficient and effective Nigerian tax system.
Adedayo emphasised the need to address the database, adding that without knowing who the tax-payers are, there is no way they can take money from unknown tax-payers.
Database is the aspect we have been emphasising on as an institute and in doing this, there are so many of pockets of data we have. All the data must be harmonised to have a simple unique tax-payers identification number,” he said.
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