December 7, 2016 –By a motion filed on November 18, 2016, Transcend Media Group has asked the court to stop Safaricom from further rolling out its BLAZE campaign.
In June, the Media Group had filed a civil suit against Saracen Media and others for alleged Copyright Infringement in connection with Safaricom’s BLAZE campaign. At the time of filing the Suit, the Group claimed that although it had submitted its proposal and creative works to Safaricom but lost the bid to Saracen and Fieldstone Helms Limited, the latter company is owned by an ex-Transcend staff who was involved in Transcend’s bid to Safaricom. As a result, the Media Group alleged that Fieldstone Helms Limited was “illegally implementing” Transcend’s intellectual property.
At the time of filing the suit, Transcend Media alleged that Safaricom had forced a number of Transcend’s creative staff including its Client Service Director and Senior Art director to resign and create their own company — Fieldstone Helms, which partnered with Saracen on the BLAZE Campaign. Transcend Media obtained an Anton Piller order and together with Enforcement Officers from the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), it raided Saracen’s offices confiscating equipment and records that allegedly would contain its copyrighted material.
In the latest twist in the case, the media group has now named Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and seven other senior managers as Respondents in the Suit.
Safaricom on the other hand has continued to dismiss Transcend’s claims stating that it did not replicate their work. Rather, the company alleges that it issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting several research companies for a brainstorm in September of 2015 and that a number of the companies submitted proposals including Transcend Media and Saracen Media. Most of the proposals according to Safaricom contained details of consumer segmentation and brand guidelines and similar characteristics as requested in the RFP.