Court grants lotto company nod to raid 23 firm
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted Western Lotto Limited an order authorizing it to search 23 firms for evidence of violation of its Ghana Games patent infringement.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke gave the order recently pursuant to Western Lotto’s ‘Exclusive Right’ to use the trade names and trademarks associated with the Ghana Games lotto products. Western Lotto’s rights also include the exclusive right to use the draw numbers of the Ghana National Lottery Authority (NLA) to sell and distribute lotto products and games to customers across Nigeria.
The first and second defendants in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/2321/19, are the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and Registrar of Trademarks. The order affects every point of sale station and agency operated by the firms offering lottery products.
Justice Aneke also appointed the third to 25th defendants to represent “the class of persons passing off their lotto products by using trade names and trademarks that are associated with the Ghana Games and those who illegally sell Ghana Games lotto products in Nigeria by using the draw of the numbers of Ghana NLA to sell and distribute lotto games to customers in Nigeria.”
Responding to the order, Western Lotto’s General Manager, Mr. Tajudeen Usman, noted that the company’s exclusive right to the Ghana Games patent was authorized by the Ghanaian Government through the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
“Western Lotto is the only firm in Nigeria licensed by the Ghanaian authority. For over 20 years, many Nigerian companies have been using the Ghana Games trademark illegally. “But we believe in doing the right thing. So, we went to Ghana and obtain a 10-year contract which gave us the exclusive right to use the Ghana Games patent and trademark”, Usman stated.
Noting that Draw Numbers could no longer be used in Nigeria without Western Lotto’s consent, he warned other lotto firms still using the Ghana Games trademark to desist as they are violating the law.According to him, Lotto firms that wish to continue using the Ghana Games trademark or numbers should obtain permission from Western Lotto.
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