Former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court over copyright breach of innovation

Six former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court over alleged breach of copyright on an innovation electronic university software system. The former students are suing Makerere University, the government, and Mr John Okuonzi a former lecturer at Kyambogo University.

The former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court and have filed a case in the Commercial Division of the High Court over copyright breach for their innovation that has birthed the current AIMS (Academic Information Management System) used in Makerere University. It was developed by the six former students between 2006 to 2010 while they studied at Kyambogo University according to documents seen by PML Daily.

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Former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court over AIMS invention

Six former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court after they created the innovation named E-Kampus to ease university activities by shifting them online like registration, payment of fees, and university application. The innovation has revolutionised how public universities run their activities including Kyambogo University that was the first to try it.

According to PML Daily, “The shareholders (students) shared their invention with their lecturer, John Okuonzi who worked together with them in presenting their invention to the management of Kyambogo University. The E-Kampus was a resounding success in Kyambogo,” the court documents indicate.

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The innovation was then given the go-ahead after it was authorized under the guidance of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Vincent Bagiire who recommended its use in all public universities in 2017.

Court documents further state that on July 4th, 2017, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, wrote to all heads of public universities and self-accounting tertiary institutions, informing them that the policy of the government was for all of the said institutions to adopt the system.

The students say it was agreed in 2018 that they own all the intellectual rights and entered a contract with government. The contract required them to design, supply and develop an IT system known as the Academic Information Management System (AIMS) in all public universities and self-accounting tertiary institutions.

This project performed so well enabling revenue collection of about UGX 486billion from students according to the court documents. However, they were never compensated for an outstanding invoice of UGX 6.2billion arising out of the contract and were instead asked to enter a new contract with the government where they would carry out system maintenance which is one of the reasons as to why the former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court along with government.

“The plaintiff will contend that government of Uganda moving to maintenance and support of the plaintiff’s (Student) AIMS system without purchasing it is unconstitutional as it amounts to compulsory acquisition of the property without prior adequate compensation.”

The former Kyambogo students drag MUK to court and also recognize that the Ministry of ICT which is responsible for the source code of its IT system, breached its responsibilities when it allowed Makerere University and its former lecturer at Kyambogo University John Okuonzi to have illegal access to the source code for an actual update which violates the contract.

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