University dons sued over alleged copyright  infringement

Sunday March 07 2021
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Kyambogo university. PHOTO | FILE

By Anthony Wesaka

Two Kyambogo University lecturers have been sued before the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala for alleged copyright infringement of an electronic payment system, among other IT software.

Dr John Okuonzi, the director of Information Technology at Kyambogo University and Mr Henry Tumusiime, a member of the same department, are jointly sued together with a company known as Compusoft.
The petitioner is a private company known as Zeenode Ltd and filed the law suit on March 4.

According to court documents, the two dons, through their company Compusoft, tried to pass off as the owners of an online platform known as Zeepay system, an electronic payments collection platform that enables integration of different platforms like mobile money and bank payments and creates intuitive financial narrative.

“The plaintiff (Zeenode) shall aver and contend that in the above listed conduct, all three defendants (the university dons and Compusoft company), committed a calculated and fragrant breach, infringement and abuse of their copyright in its Zeepay system,” Zeenode states.
The documents show that Zeenode Ltd claims the system and another one called Zee-Varsity are their products,, which they registered on May 10, 2018.
 
It states that government, through the Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance, procured the software services to be used in all 15 public universities to ease the tuition payments, online application and other IT-related systems.

“Following the interest of government of Uganda through its Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance, the plaintiff wrote a proposal to the Initiative for Information Communication Technology Support to provide software to public universities in an eco-system named Academic Information Management System (AIMS) in December 2017,” the court documents read in part.

To that effect, the two lecturers were employed in Zeenode Company as chief marketing officer and director, respectively.
Further, Zeenode claims that upon infringing on their copyright, they allegedly duplicated their services, which saw Kyambogo University pay them Shs79m.

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Corruption
Earlier last week, a whistle blower petitioned the Inspector General of Government (IGG), to investigate corruption at Kyambogo University over alleged double payment for IT services involving the two aforementioned lecturers.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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