The intellectual property rights of Nigeria is getting strengthened even as Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court, Lagos ordered Facebook Inc and Facebook Ireland Limited to pay a Nigerian firm, Double Paws Enterprise N10 million, as damages for unlawfully interfering with the use of the company’s trademark.
The judge also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining Facebook from interfering with the plaintiff’s statutory rights under the Trademark Act.
It would be recalled that Double Paws filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1164/2017, through its counsel Gideon Okebu, sometime in July, 2017.
The plaintiff reportedly said that it opened a Facebook account for its business sometime in April 2012 and had been using same for publicity, marketing and reaching out to its clients all around the world and had an unblemished relationship with the defendants until sometime in 2014 when it applied for the registration of its Pawsbook trademark, which the defendants felt was an infringement of their own ‘Facebook’ trademark.
The plaintiff reportedly said that the defendant blocked the plaintiff’s business accounts on the Facebook platform until the necessary changes us made claiming that the account was blocked as a result of several contractual breaches, which contravened the Statement of Rights and Responsibility (SRR) entered by the parties at the time of opening the Facebook Accounts.
The plaintiff also prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Facebook, its agents, privies, assigns, successors in title and legal representatives from taking further unlawful steps to harass, intimidate or interfere with its right to use the registered trademark, Pawsbook. Com & Device.
In the suit, the plaintiff reportedly demanded for the sum of $10million as general damages and another $1 Million for exemplary damages.