A High Court in Accra yesterday, Thursday, placed an injunction on two event production companies, Evolutions International and Spyder Lee Entertainment, restraining them from using the name ‘People’s Choice Awards’.
The injunction was placed after Evolution International went to court with a claim that it had registered the name and trademark ‘People’s Choice Awards’, and that for that reason Spyder Lee had no right to go ahead with the much-talked-about GN Bank People’s Choice Awards scheduled for March 21 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Spyder Lee in its defence claims it also has the requisite and legitimate documentation to prove it has registered the same name at the Registrar General’s Department and has been given the certificate for it.
The court, however, placed an injunction on both companies restraining either of them from using the name.
The Public Relations Officer for the GN Bank People’s Choice Awards, Chris Koney, explained the issue to NEWS-ONE :
‘Let me state categorically that no court has placed an injunction on the March 21 awards and the public should be assured it would come on as planned. The injunction has to do with the name and that was what the court restrained both companies from using until the matter is determined.’
Mr Koney continued: ‘Evolution is claiming it has registered ‘Peoples Choice Awards’ as a trademark at the Registrar General’s Department; and mind you, theirs came without an apostrophe. We have also registered ‘People’s Choice Awards’ at the same Registrar General’s Department as a company and also gone ahead to register the GN Bank People’s Choice Awards as a trademark and this registration was also done at the Registrar General’s Department.
‘If you check all our letter heads, website, social media pages, bill boards and adverts, we are promoting the ‘GN Bank People’s Choice Awards’, which we have the trademark certificate from the Registrar General’s Department but we have to obey what the court says and wait for the determination of the case. But we strongly want to put on record that the injunction was not on the award but on the name People’s Choice Awards,’ Chris Koney added.
Fred Kyei-Mensah, a member of the Awards’ Board, also tells NEWS-ONE there is no cause for alarm and that the awards will successfully come off on the March 21 date.
‘ The public can be rest assured that on March 21, the GN Bank People’s Choice Awards would happen because whatever the issues before the courts are would be solved way before the date, so there is nothing to fear, ‘ Mr Kyei-Mensah added.
On Thursday Peacefmonline.com quoted Lawyer Alex Kojo Abban, lawyer for Evolution International, as having said Spyder Lee, as per the injunction, ought to stop all arrangements and preparations that have to do with the March 21 awards.
‘In fact, they were supposed to put everything on hold when we sent an application and they were served. But they didn’t do it and we also didn’t want to cite them for contempt but now that it’s a court order, if they don’t comply they would be cited for contempt. For as long as the event has the name ‘People’s Choice Awards’, they can’t go on,’ lawyer Kojo Abban was quoted to have said.
Spyder Lee, organisers of the event, have successfully generated national attention and interest in the impending awards, with the public campaigning and voting for some 150 celebrities and public personalities nominated and spread across ten categories for the awards.
Internationally, the People’s Choice Awards’, started by Bob Stivers, has been held annually since 1975.
Spyder Lee says it corresponded with the foreign organisers and had the green light to go ahead.
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