Oct 31, 2018

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Vs. Chartered Institute Of Arbitration (Nigeria) LTD/GTE

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday, October 22, 2018, in a Judgment, found the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria) LTD/GTE, a registered Nigerian organisation liable for the Tort of ‘Passing Off’, thereby restraining the Nigerian registered entity from using its logo and membership grades. The suit referenced FHC/L/CS/341/2009 was instituted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of the United Kingdom alleging that the Nigerian Institute, which has been incorporated in Nigeria since 1988, was ‘passing off’ the Institute of the United Kingdom. Although the Plaintiff (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK) is a foreign organisation registered in the United Kingdom and has not been registered under Nigerian Laws, it however carries out, through its Nigerian Branch all of its activities within Nigeria without complying with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

An Appeal has however been filed at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division by the Defendant (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Nigeria) LTD/GTE) against the decision of the Federal High Court delivered by Honourable Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun on the grounds that the Plaintiff is not an organisation registered in Nigeria nor is it an entity known to law and as such has no such rights as conferred and protected by the Federal High Court in its Judgment. Also filed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria is a Motion to stay the Execution of the Judgment of the Federal High Court, pending the determination of its Appeal before the Court of Appeal.

Stakeholders continue to watch the development as it remains to be seen which stand the Court of Appeal would take on this fundamental policy issue which seeks to answer whether a Non-Registered foreign Entity would have rights over a duly Registered Nigerian Entity. As this seems to imply that the Federal High Court Awarded Judgment To A Non-Registered UK Organisation Over A Registered Nigerian Organisation.

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