Sheriffs of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday raided a Lagos
office of online bookmaker Bet9ja and recovered a seal suspected of
infringing the copyright of Lotto9ja Ltd, owned by rival bookmaker,
Western Lotto Nigeria Ltd.

The raid followed an Anton Piller
injunction granted by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in
Abuja on August 8 in favour of Western Lotto.

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An Anton Piller order authorises an applicant to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning.

The
sheriffs and Western Lotto officials, protected by policemen, executed
the order at a Bet9ja premises at 9, Funsho Williams Avenue, Surulere,
Lagos.

Justice Taiwo granted the order in a suit marked
FHC/ABJ/CS/925/2019, following an ex parte application by Western Lotto
through its counsel, Mr. John Baiyeshea, SAN, for Chief Oluwole
Olanipekun, SAN.

The first and second applicants in the suit are:
Western Lotto Nig. Ltd and Lotto9ja Ltd, while the first to third
respondents are: Registrar of Trademarks, K.C. Gaming Networks Ltd
(owners of Bet9ja) and K.C. Lottery Company Ltd.

The applicants
told the judge that Western Lotto launched a new company in July called
“Lotto9ja” after registering with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
and the office of Trademark at the Federal Ministry of Trade and
Investment.

It averred that in the course of preparing for the
launch, it discovered that K.C. Gaming Networks Ltd was also planning to
use the same name that it registered with the CAC.

It further
averred that through its lawyers, it warned K .C. Gaming Networks to
desist, but the company allegedly continued to brand its POS terminals,
T-shirts and other souvenir with the Lotto9ja trademark.

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

Upholding
their application, Justice Taiwo held: “An order of Anton Piller
injunction is hereby made directing the 2nd and 3rd defendants, to
forthwith permit the Sherriff to enter and search the 2nd and 3rd
defendants’ premises located at 9, Funsho Williams Avenue, by Fire
Service Station, Ojuelegba bus stop, Lagos.

The order also
authorised the Sherriff to search “any other premises and sales/storage
outlets anywhere in Nigeria belonging to the 2nd and 3rd defendants or
any of their agents operating under the name “Bet9ja” or “Lotto9ja” for
the purpose of taking possession of all products, equipment and products
branded and/or sold in the name/brand “Lotto9ja” (or its variants
“9jalotto”, lottonaija”, “naijalotto”) and removing them therefrom into
the custody and possession of this honourable court pending the hearing
and determination of this action.”

The judge also restrained the Registrar of Trademarks from “accepting, publishing or approving any other application for the registration of the trade/business name “Lotto9ja” or it variants “9ja lotto” “Lottonaija” as trademarks or part of any trademarks, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

Source:- Thenationonlineng

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