The case in which Safaricom Plc is accused of stealing the MPESA 1Tap invention was to be decided on Friday, 17th June 2021. We have not got the 411 of it since then.
MPESA 1Tap product that used a visa-like card for purchases was launched in 2017 but immediately hit a deadlock after the inventor accused the firm of breaching the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) signed in 2016.
The invention was supposed to augment LIPA NA MPESA as buyers would just ‘tap’ their cards to a point of sale and that’s it. Paid.
According to the user, Safaricom launched the product using ideas/knowledge that was bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
The inventor, who is a Twitter User by the name Gee Kadere recently shared the case cause list.
The date was given as 17th June 2021 at the Milimani Law courts, High Court’s commercial division.
The MPESA 1Tap solution which has died a natural death thanks to the legal challenge was to provide merchants with point-of-sale terminals that were NFC enabled, and where users could complete the transactions. The Lipa na M-Pesa card was also Chip and Pin enabled, a measure adopted to improve the security of payments solution.
— Gee Kadere 🇰🇪 (@Gee_Muri) June 17, 2021
Trickery and deceit in intellectual property in Kenya
In 2016, IP Watch, a leading independent news, on global policy and trends on IP, innovation and creativity observed that that big companies had arrived as “sponsors’, but ended up swindling young innovators.
The companies steal the inventions, exploiting gaps in IP laws, the innovators’ lack of information and financial abilities.
Safaricom Plc was very notorious for using a tool, Zindua Portal which preyed on young Kenyan innovators to pitch their innovation in the hope of partnership with the Telco, only to be swindled.
People who are responsible for this should rot in jail, not rewarded with promotion or govt appointments.
The new CEO should put things in order.
We have also cases where the innovations are stolen and improved, then introduced into the market. Many innovators lack the capacity to follow through in courts since the cost is prohibitive.
The courts must do justice to Kenyan youths; and Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) must be at the forefront, firm against such unscrupulous corporates.
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