A lot of us have probably heard of or even seen the popular movie directed and produced by Omoni Oboli, ‘Okafor’s Law’. What a lot of us might not be aware of is the turbulent court case and copyright war that plagued the movie’s release.
Shortly before the movie was scheduled to premiere in cinemas, a lawsuit was filed against Omoni Oboli requesting the seizure of the movie and all related materials on grounds of copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. After a very heated court case, the ban on the movie was lifted and it was successfully premiered in cinemas.
There are a few important lessons to be learned from this event, first on that list is the fact that it is pertinent to understand copyright issues and how well to apply them. Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. Many people do not see the need to take measures to protect their intellectual properties, but it is really important.
Ideas are not entirely unique to you; for every idea that pops up in your head, there are probably ten other people who have an exact same tab open in their heads, too. No idea, however original, is entirely unique to you, someone somewhere has probably thought of it before or will think of it.
This train of thought is applicable and maybe even more important in the business world, never make a mistake of thinking your business idea is unique to you. Going ahead to execute your business plans without first ensuring its security is more than a little risky, many times there are business ideas that are totally identical to yours (even down to the business name) that are also original to other people. So how do you stake your claims on your business plan? Register it with the governing body in charge of businesses (CAC in the case of Nigeria).
It is very possible for someone else to come up with the same business plan (and God help you, the same business name) and register it before you do, then you will become an imposter if you carry on with your plans, you can even get sued!
It is even possible for individuals to deliberately steal your business idea and register it before you can. This would be very heartbreaking because there would be no way to prove that the idea was originally yours since they have the legal documents and you don’t.
Take a decision to protect your intellectual properties today, watch out for a follow up post on practical ways to register your business with the CAC.
Enjoy the rest of your day!