Absence of judge stalls $150m suit against Google, GoDaddy.Com


By Aluta News

Oct. 11, 2023

The absence of Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, stalled the hearing of a 150 million dollars uit filed by a Nigerian, Mr Chianugo Peter, against Google and GoDaddy.com.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Peter is suing the duo over allegations bordering on the shutdown of his YouTube Audio domain name after eight years of promotional and marketing works.
Justice Egwuatu, in the last adjourned date, had fixed the matter for today for mention after the report of service of originating processes on the defendants.
Peter, through his lawyer, Emmanuel Ekpenyong of Fred-Young & Evans LP, sued GoDaddy.Com LLC and Google LLC as 1st and 2nd defendants.
The plaintiff, in the application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/238/2023 and filed April 14, sought the court declaration that he registered the YouTube Audio business name, commenced trademark registration on the logo of the business name and secured the YouTubeAudio.com domain name from the GoDaddy in good faith to carry out genuine business to host his application thereon to attract users.
He also sought a declaration that since GoDaddy and Google encouraged him to make use of the YouTubeAudio.com domain name for the past eight years, “they are estopped from claiming that the domain name infringes any of their trademarks or deny the plaintiff the use of the YouTubeAudio.com domain name.
“A declaration of this honourable court that the plaintiff is entitled to compensation from the defendants for the loss of the YouTubeAudio.com brand and goodwill which has accrued on the brand and domain name for eight years of promotional and marketing works from 2nd July, 2015 to 7th December, 2022.”
But the suit, which was on number 10 on the Wednesday’s cause list, could not proceed due to the judge’s official engagement.
The matter was, however, adjourned until Nov 13 for mention.
NAN recalls that the plaintiff lawyer, Ekpenyong, and counsel to Google, Mark Mordi, SAN, were in court in the last adjourned date.
Peter is seeking an order directing the defendants to pay him the sum of $50 million for promotional and marketing works on the YouTube Audio business name and YouTube Audio.com domain name for eight years from July 2, 2015 to Dec. 7, 2022.
“An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to pay the sum of 100, 000, 000 dollars to the plaintiff for loss of anticipated profits associated with the brand equity and goodwill of YouTube Audio and YouTube Audio.com domain name.
“An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to pay the Plaintiff the sum of N50, 000, 000 (Fifty Million naira) to enable the plaintiff to carry out fresh registrations of its new name and secure an alternative domain name to host its application to attract users.
“An order of this honourable court directing the defendants to pay the sum of N10, 00, 000 (Ten Million naira) paid to the plaintiff’s counsel for prosecution of this suit.”
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