‘Please Call Me’ Innovator to Receive Ksh 354million~Court Rules

South African Court has directed Vodacom to pay the ‘Please Call Me’ innovator five percent of the total voice revenue generated by the product in the past 20 years.

The court found that the telecommunication giant which own a 35 per cent stake in Safaricom Plc shortchanged the product innovator Nkosana Makate.

The Please Call me function allows Vodacom-linked network callers in 32 countries including Kenya to notify the message recipients to call them back.

However, the firm has deployed and shared Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code a cross its platform offered, court said the offer as too far conservative.

According to the reports, Judge Hughes said Vodacom was better placed than the court to calculate the true worth of the invention, giving out certain guidelines of what must be taken into account when the amount due is recalculated.

She added that by projection PCM as a brilliant concept would have had the longevity which has today thus, 18 years proposed by Makate is reasonable and probable.

She ordered that Makate be paid five percent of the total voice revenue generated from the PCM product, starting from March 2001 to March 2021 and not only for five years, as earlier calculated by Vodacom.

The courts deal is, however much lower compared to what the 44- year old inventor has been demanding.

According to the Country’s media report showed that Makate is demanding R10billion which is equivalent to Ksh 75 billion which he equates to 15 percent of the total revenue generated via the USSD code since 2001.

Earlier in 2016, the court ordered Vodacom to negotiate in good faith and that reasonable compensation had to be paid to the innovator, a former employee at the telecommunication company.

According to Makate, the judgement is a huge relief after rejecting a previous offer of R47 million from Vodacom.

The case according to the reports goes back to the year 2000 when Makate , then a young trainee accountant at Vodacom came up with the genius idea.

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