Most people have at some point or another run out of airtime and sent a Please Call Me message to a friend or parent. It’s a service Vodacom has had since 2000 and one which generates a vast amount of money…so much money in fact that they may have to pay Nkosana Makate more than R10 billion if the Constitutional Court finds that Vodacom stole the idea from him. Makate claims that the Please Call Me was his idea when he worked at Vodacom and that he agreed to a 15% share of the revenue generated by the service which is estimated to be as much as R70 billion. Two lower courts have previously found in favourof Vodacom, but the Constitutional Court recently overturned those and the cas will be heard at the begining of September.
“Makate contends that he is the inventor of the service, a claim that has been confirmed by the South Gauteng High Court.”
“If Makate wins in September, Vodacom may have to pay him R10.5bn in a backdated liability, according to his legal team. The amount represents Makate’s 15 percent share of revenue claim. On top of that Vodacom would also have to pay interest.” [iol]
Vodacom has said though that the Constitutional Court had not agreed to hear the appeal and instead have only agreed to hear the application for leave to appeal.
That reminds me…I should totally take Mark Zuckerberg to court since i came up with the idea for Facebook long before he did. I told a friend who told a friend who told their cousin who told a stranger at a bar who then may have mentioned it to Zuckerberg one night in a toilet.