Court Sheriffs Raid Bet9ja Office Over Trademark Infringement

Sheriffs attached to the Federal High Court in Lagos, on Thursday, raided the office of Bet9ja, and recovered the seal suspected to be infringing the trademark of another betting company, Lotto9ja Limited.

The raid followed an Anton Piller order (a court order that requires the defendant in proceedings to permit the plaintiff or his or her legal representatives to enter the defendant’s premises in order to obtain evidence essential to the plaintiff’s case) granted in favour of Western Lotto, owners of Lotto9ja, by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on August 8, 2019.

Justice Taiwo had granted the order in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/925/2019 following an ex parte application by Western Lotto through its counsel, Oluwole Olanipekun (SAN).

Applicants in the suit are Western Lotto Nigeria Limited and Lotto9ja Limited, while the respondents are the Registrar of Trademarks, K. C. Gaming Networks Limited (owners of Bet9ja) and K. C. Lottery Company Limited.

The order, which gave a right to search premises and seizes evidence without prior warning, was executed by the sheriffs and Western Lotto officials at the Bet9ja premises, No 9 Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere, Lagos.

In the suit, the applicants noted that Western Lotto launched a new company in July known as Lotto9ja after registering it with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Office of Trademarks in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, adding that in the course of preparing for the launch, it discovered that K. C. Gaming Networks also planned to use the same name that it had registered.

It added that despite several warnings, K. C. Gaming Networks continued to brand its Point of Sale terminals, T-shirts and other souvenirs with the Lotto9ja trademark.

The applicants sought an Anton Piller order and prayed the court to, among others, restrain the defendants from using its trademark.

The judge fixed August 22 for the hearing of the substantive suit. [PUNCH]