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Another round for Paymaster, Bill Express copyright legal fight

Published:Wednesday | September 25, 2013 | 9:51 AM

Bill payment company Paymaster Jamaica Limited has renewed its fight to get GraceKennedy Remittance Services Limited and software programmer Paul Lowe to pay it a billion dollars for alleged copyright infringement.



Submissions began yesterday in the Court to Appeal.



The head of Paymaster, Audrey Marks, who in 1997 launched the first bill payment business in Jamaica, is contending that GraceKennedy, which operates Bill Express, breached Paymaster's copyright.



Bill Express, which is Paymaster's competitor, was launched in 2000.



In April 2010, Supreme Court judge Justice Roy Jones ruled that Paymaster did not own the copyright to the software.



The judge found that Lowe was the author and owner of the software and that he never intended to assign his ownership to Paymaster.



Justice Jones further found that GraceKennedy did not use Paymaster's business plan, but developed Bill Express from its own efforts.



However, Paymaster is arguing that the judge erred in law and on facts when he found that Lowe was the owner of the copyright for the software and was entitled to give it to other persons.



Paymaster is being represented by Queen's Counsel Denise Kitson.



The bill payment company is asking the appeals court to find that where a person is commissioned to write a program for a fee the clear implication is that the program will be the property of the person who engages him.



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