The long awaited judgement by Judge Kollapen on the Please Call Me idea matter is finally out. The judge has ordered Vodacom to handover within 21 days contractual documents that can assist with the process of determining the true value of the idea. This comes after Vodacom through its CEO determined that the idea was worth R47 million. This offer was not accepted by Makate on the basis that his attorneys had no access to documentation upon which such value was determined. Makate challenged this decision in court. Makate filed court papers in the North Gauteng high court and asked the court to issue an order to force the Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub to disclose all documents he relied upon to conclude that the idea was worth R47 million. Makate believes he is owed more.
This judgement by Judge Kollapen is significant for several reasons. It enables both parties for the very first time to have access to the same set of documents (contractual and financial) to determine the value of the idea. In the past Vodacom was the only party that had access to such documents.
The judge has also ordered that the KPMG report should also be handed over to Makate. The inventor of the Please Call Me idea has been waiting for more than 10 years for the KPMG report. The report was compiled after Vodacom shareholders had requested an investigation into intellectual property matters within the company.
It has been reported that paragraphs within the KPMG report will assist current negotiations process between Makate and Vodacome to achieve a genuine settlement process.
In the past Vodacom had argued that the document was irrelevant in determining whether it owed Makate any money. The Judge Kollapen judgement however has highlighted that this report is critical to provide more information about Vodacom practices.