Woman claims N510m damages from GTBank over alleged ‘passing off’

A Federal High Court in Lagos will on November 22 and 24 resume hearing of a suit by a businesswoman Kehinde Abiodun, seeking N510million as damages against a Guaranty Trust Bank PLC for alleged passing-off.

Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date on Monday, July 19, in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/616/2018 between sole applicant Abiodun and sole defendant GTB.

The plaintiff, in the suit filed by her counsel Oliver Ilori, averred that she originated and created a business concept called ‘The Shopping Arena (TSA)’.

The TSA is a sales marketing and networking platform where wholesalers and retailers converge to showcase their products and services at discounted prices to a wider targeted audience in a more friendly and conducive environment.

TSA’s primary aim, she said, is to avail Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with a physical platform on which to converge and market their brands, products and services to the public.

The Plaintiff averred that the defendant operates an online marketplace for SMEs known as the GTBank SME Market Hub which is an electronic platform on which SMEs are registered to market and sell their brands products and services.

She averred that in a bid to grow the TSA brand and gain further publicity, she resolved to partner the Defendant to leverage on the defendant’s multiple publicity channels, including the defendant’s SME Market Hub platform.

Abiodun asserted that she approached Gtbank with a proposal for a partnership on TSA and the bank accepted her proposal.

The claimant alleged that after she was led to share her trade secrets with Gtbank, it shunned her and held its fair using her ideas.
Abiodun averred further that the bank passed off her business concept by using it to organise its Food and Drink fair.

She prayed the court to award the sum of N510million as damages and cost against the bank for allegedly passing off of her business concept and intellectual work.

The sum consists of N300million for passing off the plaintiff’s Intellectual idea and logistical data for the organisation and hosting of the Defendant’s food and drink fair, general damages of N100million, aggravated damages of N100milion and cost N10million.

She is also seeking, among others, a declaration that the plaintiff is the originator and creator of the Shopping Arena Business Concept and that the defendant has passed off her business concept and intellectual.

Others are an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant from further passing off, a letter of apology to be published in two national among others.

Gtbank, in its defence, denied stealing the plaintiff’s idea, adding that the idea is not novel.

 

Source: Newsroom Nigeria

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