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IML Air-chartering Nig. Ltd v. IML International Messengers Nig. Ltd.

Federal High Court

Judgement delivered on May 25, 1979
Citation: 22 NIPJD [FHC. 1979] 9/1979
Suit No. FRC/L/9/79      Jurisdiction: Nigeria


 Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria Ltd./Gte v. Adeokin Records

Excerpt from citation:

“In IML Air-chartering Nig. Ltd v. IML International Messengers Nig. Ltd. (1979)5 FRCLR.113 the same argument as in this case was put forward successfully by the defendant at the same state of the proceedings. There the action was a claim for N5,000 for passing-off the services and functions of the Plaintiffs by the Defendants, their agents and servants. Again Plaintiff did not rely on any of the enactments regulating companies or stated in Section 7(1)(c)(ii) of the Federal High Court Act 1973 or Sections 19 & 25 of the Patents and Designs Act No. 60 of 1970. The general common law tort of passing-off would appear to have been relied upon. As was stated in that judgment ‘It is obvious from the writ of summons and statement of claim that the claim is one in respect of passing-off’ of services and functions which in my opinion is not the category of passing-off contemplated either in the Companies Decree 1968, Section 19 or in the enactments stated in Section 7(1)(c)(ii).”


In IML Air-chartering Nig. Ltd v. IML International Messengers Nig. Ltd. the Federal High Court declined jurisdiction on a solely passing off matter, the action having been founded on common law tort. The reasoning by the court, based on the interpretation of section 7 of the Federal High Court Act, was that the action must be shown to be ‘arising from any enactment’ relating to copyright, patents, designs, trademarks and merchandise marks. Consequently, the Court could not find jurisdiction on an action solely based on common law passing-off.


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