Intellectual property crisis: Firm threatens to drag Nigerian Breweries to court
An Engineering firm, Evanpower Engineering Limited, has threatened to drag brewery giant, Nigerian Breweries to court over alleged usage of its Intellectual Property without pay.
The company is claiming the usage of its “blueprint” by the Brewery in solving an important problem without pay, in addition to owing the firm outstanding contractual obligations.
The claim was contained in a petition by its Counsel A.U.G Ojinta to the Managing Director of the Nigeria Breweries Plc (NB Plc) demanding for the payment of N750 million and N3, 744, 153.15 as fees for the Blueprint design and work done respectively at NBplc’s Ama plant 9th Mile Corner in Enugu State.
However, in a quick reaction, NBplc denied owing the firm any money insisting that whatever job the firm did was paid for.
But in the petition made available to journalists in Enugu on Monday, Ojinta, counsel to Evanpower Engineering Ltd alleged that NBL refused to pay the engineering company after using the blueprint it designed to solve a control system challenge at its Ama plant.
He said: “Our client instructs that sometime in the month of July 2014, your company’s Access Control System at Ama was struck by lightning and the Superterm Control Panel at the security room at the entrance gate 2 was damaged.
“Your company had advertised for the repair but because it was a highly specialist job, none of your registered vendors/contractors could handle or bided for it.
“As at that time, our Client was not registered as a Vendor/Contractor with your Company. She was sought for and she came.
“She repaired the broken down Superterm panel and got the panel to work with the Turnstile gate and that made history at your Ama plant as, from the information she got later, none of your Company’s registered contractors in Nigeria has ever been able to record such feat in your Access Control System. This particular service was paid for by your Company”.
Ojinta stated that following the repair, the NBplc asked his Client to apply for registration as vendor/Contractor with the company, which she did and was registered on May 21, 2015, under the automation, instrumentation and Control System category.
Ojinta stated that his Client was issued with work permit after the registration and was instructed to work on Revamping the Access Control System at the company’s Ama plant, sometime in June, 2017.
“Our client was issued with work permits which covered the period June 4 to July 31, 2017 duly endorsed by the Automation Engineer, Engineering Manager, Safety Manager and Brewery Manager which actually was for revamping of the Access Control System and other ancillary work that included laying new cables at the Turnstile Gate at Ama plant.
“In the end, PO was raised dated August 7, 2017, attesting to the fact that my client had been through with what my client was asked to do,” he stated
Ojinta added that, Evanpower Engineering Limited had before then developed a blue print for NBL which was used in solving the Access Control System at the demand of the beer company’s automation engineer
“The first part was made available to you through your said Automation Engineer in July 2017 while the second was in October 2017”, he said NewsExpress