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Masterpiece Investment Ltd. v. Worldwide Business & Ors.

Federal High Court

Citation: 40 NIPJD [FHC. 1997] 120/1991
Suit No. FHC/L/120/91        Jurisdiction: Nigeria

 Judgement delivered by Odunowo J.

SUMMARY OF CASE AND JUDGEMENT

In 1989, the Plaintiffs brought an action against the Defendants for copyright infringement relating to an article published by the Defendants for commercial purposes in the December edition of Business Magazine. The article was similar to a previous article published in Business Magazine in October 1989. The Plaintiffs claimed to have suffered damages in the sum of N1,000,000 damages (N300,000 general damages, N200,000 special damages and N500,000 exemplary or punitive damages).

In awarding damages against the defendant, the court presided by Odunowo J, considered the embarrassment and degradation the Plaintiffs had suffered in the industry, emotional pains and loss of respect from professional colleagues. The sum of N300,000 was awarded as general damages, N200,000.00 for special damages and exemplary damages of N100,000.

“On the claim for exemplary or punitive damages, the trend of both judicial and juristic opinion is that the Court may award additional damages for such matters as the author’s reputation or feeling, the vulgarisation of the work, economic loss, unjust enrichment by the Defendant as a result of the act of infringement, the conduct of the Defendant”…Per Odunowo J.

II.  OTHER CITATIONS

(1990-1997)  3 IPLR 345

(1997) FHCLR 496

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