Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | October 21, 2009
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Bill payment witnesses finish testimonies
Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Witnesses for the two leading bill-payment companies which have been involved in a nine-year-legal battle completed their evidence yesterday, after a six-day hearing in the Supreme Court.

Paymaster Jamaica Ltd, which operates Paymaster, has sued GraceKennedy Remittance Services (GKRS) Ltd, which operates Bill Express, and programmer Paul Lowe.

Paymaster is contending that GKRS breached its copyright of multi-payment software programme which software analyst Paul Lowe had designed for Paymaster.

GKRS has denied the allegations and Paul Lowe testified yesterday that he was the sole owner of the software programme and had only sold a licence to Paymaster.

Written submissions

Justice Roy Jones, who is hearing the suit, has instructed the lawyers representing the parties to submit their written submissions within two weeks of receiving the court transcripts, which should be ready by next Wednesday.

Yesterday, Lowe was cross-examined by attorney John Vassell, who is representing GKRS.

Lowe said there were marked differences between the software programmes he designed for Paymaster and GKRS because the functionality of the programmes was different.

He said when he initiated dialogue with GKRS he told Audrey Marks, chief executive officer of Paymaster, about the discussions. He said it was out of courtesy that he informed Marks about his discussions with GKRS to license a software programme for GKRS.

He said in December 1999 he informed GKRS that the arrangement for licensing the programme was without the source code because he owned it.

Lowe said certain material and significant adjustments were made to the programme to meet the needs of GKRS.

Did not know

Cross-examined by Dr Lloyd Barnett, who is representing Paymaster, Lowe said if there was any doubt as to what was required by a client, it was his duty to ascertain what they wanted. He said Paymaster did not know what it wanted.

It was suggested to Lowe that he disclosed Paymaster's clients in his communication to GKRS, but he said he did not think he did so. He said he was only making a general comment when he referred to cable companies.

Derrick Logan, information technology consultant, said under cross-examination that he examined the programmes for GKRS and Paymaster. Asked if GraceKennedy's head office's code was a replica of Paymaster's, he replied, "I said it was similar."

He said that, based on what a replica was, it was not a replica. On being asked if there were differences in the modules, he said they were minimal and pointed out that he had said earlier that the differences were not significant.

Questioned as to whether the transition from the Paymaster programme to that of GKRS required minimal effort, Logan said he did not examine that.


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