The "Please Call Me" that cost R6.75 billion

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
28,753
#7
Sterling Rand Litigation Fund is supporting this motive, and naturally expect to get something in this case or else they would not spend this considerable amount on Nkosana Makate. Maybe his lawyers closes the deal on Vodacom.

The only thing that bothers me is the continuity in this case when it comes to Ari Kahn who holds the registered patent, taking this in regard:

Vodacom in turn argues that the rights to anything developed or produced by its employees belong to the company. Makate disputes this, saying the idea fell outside of his normal duties at Vodacom.
I don't even know how this case could go on this long...

Ari Kahn, who previously consulted for MTN, was behind the idea and registered a patent for the Please call Me service on behalf of MTN.

Vodacom and Makate, understandably, avoided this issue in their legal wrangling regarding the Please Call Me service
This is like ignoring Facts in the court where law should prevail, so lies are acceptable in this case?
 

siraman

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
1,982
#9
Makate feels that he should get at least 15% of the revenue generated by the Please call Me service, which equates to R6.75 billion.
The determination of that 15%?I'd like to know,why not 10%,20%,30% or.... 50%?
 

markings

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
1,135
#10
Imagine the administrative nightmare if a company would enter into a profit sharing agreement for ideas their employees develop. If there is profit sharing then surely one would also have a loss sharing option?

A once off payment, yes. Neat, tidy and easy to handle.

MTN may just be waiting in the wings for the judge to decide how much their patent is worth before launching their patent violation case.
 

DvD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
201
#16
Neither Makate nor Vodacom owns this invention, how is there even a case between them? Even if he did invent the system at the same time as Kahn, the fact that MTN owns the patent means his invention is pretty much useless. Why is Makate picking a fight with a company who is not in possession of the patent? If the idea was his, why is he not fighting the people who patented it (or, as it probably is in his mind, who "stole his idea")?
 

BLIXEMPIE

Honorary Master
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
10,030
#17
Neither Makate nor Vodacom owns this invention, how is there even a case between them? Even if he did invent the system at the same time as Kahn, the fact that MTN owns the patent means his invention is pretty much useless. Why is Makate picking a fight with a company who is not in possession of the patent? If the idea was his, why is he not fighting the people who patented it (or, as it probably is in his mind, who "stole his idea")?
Agreed. He should sue MTN.
 

yebocan

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
9,197
#19
The constitutional court has agreed to hear the application for leave to appeal in the nearly decade-long case between telecommunications giant Vodacom and Nkosana Makate, who claims to have invented the service “please call me”.

After the high court in Johannesburg last year dismissed the case, Makate appealed the court’s decision at the highest court in South Africa.

In March, Makate’s case suffered another blow when the supreme court of appeal (SCA) rejected Makate’s application for leave to appeal on the basis that his prospects for success were limited.

The court set down a hearing for 1 September in which both parties involved will argue on whether the high court proceedings on the matter should be reviewed and possibly overturned.

The constitutional court is Makate’s last-ditch attempt for Vodacom to compensate him for the free service which enables a user without airtime to send a text to be called back.

“All I wanted was for Vodacom and I to jointly make money from this invention on percentage share basis like all other business deals concluded by the company on this basis… ‘Please call me’ has turned out to be one of the most successful inventions that Vodacom has ever had,” he says.

He estimates that the invention, since its inception in 2001, has generated about R70bn for Vodacom and he wants a 15% cut of the profit share.

Makate says it is a “huge relief” for the constitutional court to consider the case after being denied by “the same lower courts [the high court and SCA] — unjustly so”.

Makate is taking several arguments to the constitutional court, mainly that the high court denied him the right of access to court under section 34 of the constitution and the right to property in section 25.

On section 25, Makate says he was “deprived” of the invention and the right to claim money for it “even while Vodacom continues to benefit to the tune of many billions of rand”.

Makate also suggests that the court needs to lay down a principle on the fact that the parties are in an unequal bargaining position.

In 2000, Makate was a trainee accountant for Vodacom when he claims to have invented “please call me”. When the idea hit, Makate spoke to Vodacom’s director on the board and head of product development at the time, Philip Geissler, as “he was the obvious person to speak to given his position”.

He says Geissler agreed to pay him a share of the revenues Vodacom would generate from the innovation if it was technically and financially viable.

The high court case, presided by judge Phillip Coppin, concluded that Makate had successfully proved the remuneration agreement between him and Geissler. However, Coppin dismissed Makate’s claim on the basis that he did not prove that Geissler did have “ostensible authority” to bind Vodacom for compensation.

Also the court found that Makate’s claim against Vodacom had expired (a term known in legal circles as prescription), as he did not file the claim within three years of Vodacom going to market with “please call me”. Makate pursued his initial court bid in 2008.

Nkateko Nyoka, chief legal and regulatory officer for Vodacom, argued that Makate’s leave to appeal at the constitutional court should be dismissed mainly on two grounds — misinterpretation of ostensible authority and prescription.

Vodacom argues that no official at the company had the actual or ostensible authority to bind Vodacom in a compensation agreement. It further says it was against the policy and practice of the company to offer employees additional remuneration and enter into revenue shares.

On the unequal bargaining position argument between Makate and Vodacom, the company labels it as “an attempt to infuse constitutionality into a non-constitutional issue”.
This piece was first published on Moneyweb and is republished here with permission

http://www.techcentral.co.za/new-twist-in-please-call-me-case/56887/
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
3,028
#20
Interestingly - Vodacom seem to have removed all forms of advertising that usually came with the "Please call me" service...
 
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