COGEBAQUE dragged to court over piracy

•Claimant Seeks Rwf100m in compensation   NYARUGENGE - A local artist has appealed to the Supreme Court in a case which he accuses COGEBAQUE of infringement on his intellectual-property.
SUED:  The head office of COGEBANQUE in downtown Kigali. The commercial bank has ben sued over piracy. (File Photo)
SUED: The head office of COGEBANQUE in downtown Kigali. The commercial bank has ben sued over piracy. (File Photo)

•Claimant Seeks Rwf100m in compensation  

NYARUGENGE - A local artist has appealed to the Supreme Court in a case which he accuses COGEBAQUE of infringement on his intellectual-property.

Pascal Bushaija claims that his design was used by the bank for commercial purposes.

A lower  court had initially awarded the artist Rwf 10m, however Bushaija wasn’t satisfied with the ruling, proceeding to make an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“We find it not appropriate for the high court ruling that my client gets only Rwf 10 million yet the bank used his art piece for publicity purposes,” Jean Claude Muhikira the lawyer representing Bushaija told The New Times.

The lawyer explained that his client’s work was used on the bank’s final logo which now appears on cheque leaflets and bank dairies distributed as a way of publicity.

According to the contract, Muhikira says the work was only for in house display.

“Initially the work was to be displayed in the bank’s premises, but my client later discovered that it was reproduced for publicity purposes---that is why we are requesting Rwf 100 million reward,” Muhikira told the court.

“The intellectual property law only allows reproduction to none profit making entities like for education purposes but not at all any commercial institution.”

Defence lawyer Jean Bosco Kazungu, contested that the artist did not have any kind of originality, no invention and therefore did not compose his art piece.  Kazungu says the work was bought by the bank at Rwf 251,000 which meant it had all rights reserved to do any thing it wanted to this particular art piece.

“It seems like my client only bought the work but his hands were supposed to stay tied, where does my client’s rights begin and end,” Kazungu pondered.

“This piece we are talking about here is not new. It has been in our cultural items. The money paid to him was enough for the bank to have all rights since we even don’t see any of this artist’s copyright,” Kuzungu said.

But Buishaija’s lawyer argues that the piece bears his client’s signature as stipulated in the intellectual property law.
The verdict of the case has been scheduled to take place September 18 this year.

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