IPR Update 4: Asiatic MCL's 'creative defense' in reply to Legal Notice and my Lawyers re-axe
There is hardly any visible difference to the letter sent by NOKIA in reply to my legal notice - and that of Asiatic; likewise the response of my lawyer is almost identical.
However the ‘important points’ where the Asiatic lawyer puts up a poor defense of her clients ‘professionalism and ethical values’ have succinctly been addressed by my lawyer are in bold italics.
More than 3 days have lapsed and we ‘understandably’ have received no reply. The campaign has moved ‘very creatively’ from ‘halted’ to ‘stalled’ – but we have seen no press release nor any efforts by NOKIA or Asiatic to update us to the latest. While I do not have my lawyer’s permission to jump the gun and tell you our next course of action – suffice to say ‘the gun’ as such is fully loaded and pointed skywards – the ‘race’ – is likely to start at any moment!
Stay tuned and wish me luck.
20th April 2010
Ms. Sajeda Farisa Kabir,
Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Temple Court Chambers, Dhaka Annexe,
22 Kemal Ataturk Avenue
Flat 7A, Banani,
Dhaka 1213, Bangladesh
Re: Your reply dated 15th April, 2010 to my Legal Notice dated 01.04.2010 and letter dated 06.04.2010 sent on behalf of my client Mr. Maqsoodul Haque.
I am in receipt of your reply as mentioned above. I have received instruction from my client to reply to the same in the following manner.
1. That in your reply you have referred to a meeting dated 31st March, 2010 held in Asiatic Office in Dhaka. My client has instructed me to inform you that whilst he did meet with Asiatic JWT upon the telephonic request of its Managing Director Mr.Aly Zaker as also Mr.Foad Nasser Babu of Feedback on the 31st March 2010 and spent over 2 hours patiently hearing out both parties, regrettably nothing as such was ‘agreed’ upon or ‘resolved’ in the said meeting.
The meeting ended inconclusively and while the list of song that will not be used for the campaign was discussed, your client was vehemently reluctant to hand over a letter of affirmation of the same and kept debating meaninglessly whether it should be addressed to my client by them (Asiatic) or by Feedback.
When my client insisted that the letter ought to come from Asiatic being the brand custodian of Nokia and party at fault on its own admission during the meeting (for not looking at the legal aspects before concluding a commercial contract with Feedback); one Mr.Neville Ferdous Hasan of Asiatic who represented your client in the meeting in presence of Ms. Zertab Quaderi in an implied threat told my client “What if we sent you a letter and went ahead and did exactly what we want to do?” and subsequently this actually proved to be the case as would be revealed later.
My client left the meeting after his final recap for clarity, stating in no uncertain terms that he expected a letter from Asiatic by noon of 1st April 2010, and an immediate stoppage of the campaign. The letter having not reached my client until the stipulated time; I was instructed to send out the legal notice with any further delay.
2. That it is a little baffling for me to understand your statement that Nokia Singapore office was closed from 1st April, 2010 to 4th April 2010, when “Nokia” itself in its reply to my legal notice has stated that their Singapore Office was closed from 2nd April, 2010 and not 1st April, 2010. We have in earlier communications acknowledged receipt of the e-mail sent by Ms. Quaderi informing us of the stoppage of public promotion and activities and communication in the media of that particular campaign. But as you surely have seen from my letter dated 06.04.2010 that even though this was assured no steps whatsoever was taken by Asiatic to that effect. We have seen no press statement by either your client or Nokia about the suspension of the campaign in the press nor was the website taken down. Moreover as of today, I have personally seen huge billboards promoting the said campaign in prominent parts of Dhaka City (including Mohakhali and Dhanmondi).
3. I am also a little surprised that till now no explanation whatsoever was given of the e-mail, sent by Mr. Aly Zaker, the Managing Director of your client, which I mentioned in my said letter, dated 06.04.2010. In your reply you have simply omitted to mention the same. That particular slur proves that the implied threat made by Mr. Hasan was no longer implied, rather your client’s agents have gone through what they have intended, i.e. To cut my client down to size. We are still waiting for an explanation of these slanderous and libelous remarks. And as Mr. Aly Zaker, the Managing Director of a professional company has actually sent this mail to some other person, he has clearly published his words and for that I am instructed to take proper legal recourse at the proper time, in both civil and criminal jurisdiction.
4. In your reply you have contended that your client is a well established and well respected in the business of advertising and received accolades for its professionalism and is mindful of ethics, values, principles, standards and parameters of set by the law. Sadly, we fail to see any of these in their conduct in respect of the current issue. A company as you have described, which is mindful of the legal perimeter would have obtained necessary permission even before they started the campaign, would have ascertained that the campaign have been properly brought to hold before sending a letter. And as for so-called ‘ethics, values, principles and standards’ practiced by your client is aptly exemplified by the mail of its Managing Director. So the contention that your client has acted properly is unacceptable to us. The whole matter was done in an unprofessional way and the attitude displayed of Mr. Hasan and Mr. Zaker shows that they had every intention to offend my client by “Cutting him down to size”.
5. That the statements made by you in paragraph No. 7 of the reply is not correct. As stated above and from my letter dated 6th April, 2010, it is absolutely clear that your clients have had every intention of offending and belittling my client.
6. In the circumstances as stated above, I am instructed to inform you that, the steps taken by your client to address the situation is not satisfactory to my client. I acknowledge the receipt of your reply. At the same time I do not acknowledge that your client has taken any steps whatsoever to remedy the situation until now.
I am instructed to inform you that, my client intends to pursue the matter vigorously before the Court of Law for the slur on him by the Managing Director of your client. And as your client has failed to conduct themselves professionally so far in this particular matter, my client has no reason to accept any explanation from your client. Your client till now, have not even apologized for its attempt to usurp my clients copyright material and also for the slur made by Mr. Zaker.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this reply within 3(three) days of receipt, as opposed to from date.
A copy of this letter is kept in my chambers for future reference.
Mr. Aneek R.Haque
Barrister at Law
Temple Court Chambers
Ataturk Tower, 22 Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Flat 7A, Banani, Dhaka-1213, Bangladesh
Tel+880 2 9870824. Fax+ 880 2 9870829 .
Email Dhaka @templecourt.co.uk
15 April 2010
Mr. Aneek R.Haque
Advocat, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Justiciars, Apt-1, House 47
Oriental Prantic -1, Road 1
Re : Reply to Legal Notice dated 01 April 2010 and letter dated 06 April 2010 sent on behalf of Mr. Maqsoodul Haque.
I refer to the above matter, I have been instructed on behalf of my client, Asiatic Marketing Communication Limited, having its principle place of business at Asiatic Centre, House-63, Road-7B, Block-H, Banani, Dhaka1213 (hereinafter referred to as “Asiatic”) to render a Reply to the Legal Notice dated 01 April 2010 (hereinafter referred to as “ the Notice”) and another letter dated 06 April 2010 sent by you on behalf of your client Mr, Maqsoodul haque of “Chaya Neer,” Apartment-4, House-8, Road-15, Sector-4, Uttara, Dhaka-1230.
In this regard, our response to the abovementioned Notice and the letter dated 06 April 2010 is as follows. Any matters which have not been specifically addressed shall be treated as denied.
1.Paragraphs 1-4 of the Notice are matters of record.
2. Regarding paragraph number 5 - 9 of the Notice, please note that that on 31 March, 2010 a meeting was held at the office of Asiatic in the presence of your client, Mr. Haque, Mr. Foad Nasser Babu (acting as the representative for the band ‘Feedback’) and several representatives of Asiatic. In the said meeting, it was resolved that for the purposes of a Campaign which is to be launched by Nokia Emerging Asia (“Nokia”), list of songs of the band Feedback, which was chosen for the said Campaign will be altered in order to ensure that any songs which have been written/composed by your client are removed.
3. Pursuant to the decision taken at the abovementioned meeting, Asiatic duly informed the Singapore office of Nokia to make the necessary arrangements to alter the song list so that the songs written/composed by your client are removed from the Campaign. This process of alteration of the song list requires 3 (three) working days and the instructions of Asiatic were received by the Singapore office of Nokia on 01 April 2010. The offices of Nokia were closed from 01 April 2010. to 04 April, 2010 for Easter holidays; therefore, the songs written/composed by your client were duly removed by the Singapore office of Nokia on 06 April, 2010, even though Asiatic received notification that the song list of the Campaign has been altered on 05 April, 2010. Following receipt of notification from the Singapore office of Nokia, by a letter dated 05 April, 2010, a representative of Asiatic duly informed your client that the song list for the Campaign has been altered in order to remove any songs of Feedback which have been written/composed by him
4. The songs written/composed by your client, which have been removed from the song list of the Campaign are as follows:
2.Geeti Kobita 1
3.Geeti Kobita 2
5. At present, all forms of communication in the media with respect to the Campaign on Nokia have been stalled.
6. Our client is well-established and well-respected and has been conducting the business of adverting, branding and media communication for many decades, receiving numerous commendations and praise from its clients, persons in the advertising and media communication industry and various others. In the conduct of their business, Asiatic is mindful of ethics, values, principles, standards and the parameters set by the law.
7. In this instance, Asiatic had no intention of offending your client in any way whatsoever, Being aware of the objections raised by your client in the meeting dated 31 March 2010, the Notice and the letter dated o6 April 2010, Asiatic made the necessary arrangements to remove all songs of Feedback written and composed by him at the earliest opportunity. At present, the song list for the Campaign of Nokia (which is presently stalled) does not contain any songs which have been written or composed by your client.
8. Therefore, in the light of the above, I, on behalf of my client request you to take the following steps:
a. Acknowledge receipt of this Reply within 3 (three) days from date.
b. Acknowledge that Asiatic has taken all necessary steps and has succeeded in ensuring that all songs written/composed by your client have been removed from the song list of the Campaign of Nokia.
c. Peruse the New song list for the Campaign of Nokia (copy of which will be provided by Asiatic to your client) and confirm in writing that none of the songs contained therein have been written or composed your client.
9. In the light of the above, I trust that you will agree to the terms proposed by Asiatic in this Reply and come to a settlement in order to amicably resolve this matter.
10. A copy of this Reply is preserved in my office
For and on behalf of Temple Court Chambers, Dhaka
Sajeda Farisa Kabir
Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh.