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Paymaster, GraceKennedy Remittance legal battle heads to Privy Council

Published:Monday | September 21, 2015 | 9:59 PM

The United Kingdom-based Privy Council is to decide on the ongoing legal battle between Paymaster Jamaica Limited and GraceKennedy Remittance Services.

Today, the parties were granted leave by the Court of Appeal to take the matter to Jamaica’s highest court.

GraceKennedy is appealing a ruling by the Court of Appeal in March that it breached confidence when it obtained the business plan of Paymaster CEO, Audrey Marks.

The Appeals Court had ruled that GraceKennedy made use of Paymaster’s business plan, which it obtained in confidence, and clearly took an unfair advantage of Marks' company while it had the document in its possession.

In its judgment, the Appeals Court said while some of the information in the business plan could have been available to the public, Paymaster’s concept and idea were private.

Meanwhile, Paymaster is going to the Privy Council to challenge an aspect of the Court of Appeal ruling that computer programmer, Paul Lowe, is the owner of the software Paymaster used to start its bill payment system.

Paymaster wants the Privy Council to decide on the entitlement of copyright in a computer programme.

Lowe and GraceKennedy are the respondents in the appeal.

Paymaster had accused Lowe of breach of contract, copyright infringement and breach of confidence.

However, the appeals court ruled that he was the rightful owner of the software and not Paymaster.

In the meantime, the Court of Appeal has granted both GraceKennedy and Paymaster a stay of execution in each individual case in relation to the payment of damages.

GraceKennedy had been ordered to pay damages to Paymaster, while Paymaster was ordered to pay damages and legal costs for Lowe.