Smartpole intellectual property rights

17 July 2011

The City of Sydney is pursuing ongoing court proceedings involving Screetscape for between $6 and $8 million in royalties owed plus interest plus legal costs.
 
We have a duty to ensure that ratepayers are not short-changed, and to undertake rigorous action to defended ratepayers’ rights.
 
The City of Sydney owns the Intellectual Property rights for the design, specification and manufacture of its smartpoles.
 
In 2002, under a previous administration and Lord Mayor, the City awarded Streetscape, the company of Moses Obeid, a contract to supply smartpoles across Australia, New Zealand and Spain.
 
However in 2007 The City discovered that Streetscape had also been supplying smartpoles in Dubai and Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Singapore in breach of their licence agreement.
 
Royalties for these sales have not been paid to Sydney ratepayers, and based on Streetscapes own marketing figures we estimate that for between $6 and $8 million is owed to the City of Sydney in royalties.
 
The City has made many attempts to resolve the dispute with Streetscape out of court This case involving the Middle East and Singapore follows an earlier dispute where Streetscape owed ratepayers more than $700,000 for unpaid royalties within Australia. However, the matter was settled out of court when Streetscape paid $400,000.
 
The City, with the unanimous support of Councillors, stands by its decision to defend its Intellectual Property rights in this case in support of the interests of ratepayers and bona fide commercial activity.
 
In September 2010 Council unanimously agreed to continue defending its rights in this case. At that meeting, councillors were also advised that the legal costs at that stage were approximately $1.6 million.

Last updated: Friday, 10 January 2014