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Equity Bank punished for Intellectual Property Theft

James Mwangi – CEO, Equity Bank

Intellectual property theft by Equity Bank of Kenya has finally caught up with them.

Eric Nyadida had sued the bank for using his creation in their ‘Wing to Fly’ community empowerment programme without compensating him. The bank has been ordered to pay him over Sh5 million.

In 2013, Equity had asked Nyadida to compose music for them. They agreed on the compensation but later when Mr Nyadida asked for it, he was thrown in jail.

Eric Nyadida, age 16 was held overnight in a cell at Kileleshwa Police station & then tried as an adult for the offence of forgery: Criminal Case 691/2015, despite being a child, further contravening his rights because he was a minor who should have been tried in a child’s court.
Despite this, Eric was found not guilty because there was no evidence to prove the trumped up charges brought against him by Equity Bank & DPP & IG & AG all who were named respondents in the lawsuit.

By using Eric’s song without his permission & without paying him EquityBank infringed on his copyright and took advantage of his age & exploited him. Over & above this they used the courts to maliciously prosecute him & caused him & his family great anguish.

READ: Norah Jelagat Borus: Dead Student Had Exposed Sexual Harassment At Equity Leaders Program

On Thursday 13th October, after a decade long battle, the Milimani Commercial High court under the stewardship of Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled in favor of Eric Nyadida & ordered Equity Bank to compensate Him for the song & awarded damages running up tens of millions.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled

a. A conservatory order is hereby issued against the 1st and 2nd respondents to restrain them from using the petitioner’s work of music, ‘Wings to Fly’.
b. A declaration is hereby issued that by their acts and/or omission the respondents breached the petitioner’s fundamental rights and freedoms.
c. I award damages of Kshs. 250,000 to the petitioner against all the respondents jointly and severally for malicious prosecution.
d. I award damages of Kshs. 5,000,000 to the petitioner against the 1st and 2nd respondents for breach of the petitioner’s intellectual property rights.
e. I award the petitioner the costs of this suit together with interest on c) and d) hereinabove at court rates.
Dated, signed and delivered virtually at Nairobi this 13th day of October 2022.

W. A. OKWANY
JUDGE

Nyadida’s full petition number 2 of 2019 is attached below:

Intellectual property theft cases

Eric Nyadida’s case opens a new lease of life for Kenyan inventors who have been duped into showcasing their inventions and then conned by Kenyan corporates.

READ: Equity Bank and Safaricom PLC are particularly notorious.

After today’s win, Mr Nyadida went on to write a four-page thank you to the Kenyan criminal justice system.

Copyright-savvy corporates have for too long infringed on copyrights of individual authors with relatively little risk, given that the costs of litigation are likely to be greater than any damage award, which tends to lessen the deterrence and limiting effect. – Eric Nyadida

Eric Nyadida’s statement Page 1

Eric Nyadida’s statement Page 2

Eric Nyadida’s statement Page 3

Eric Nyadida’s statement Page 4

 


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