- A patenting legal battle could see two of South Africa's largest companies, MTN and Standard Bank, cough out millions of Rands if found to have infringed the patenting laws of the country.
The legal action follows a claim by a small business, 3MFuture Africa, which has filed legal action against the two businesses, saying the recently launched mobile money transfer venture was based on its patented technology.
Depending on the technicalities, the company claims it was involved in creating a system for Standard Bank in 2001, during which it introduced the technology, but which was only registered as a patent in 2003.
The case, which has drawn large attention, especially in the IT world, could also see the new venture - touted one of the best solutions to Africa's credit transfer problems, especially in empowering the rural poor - being halt to a complete stop if the application for the interdict is successful.
Both companies have acknowledged receiving the court summons and had already engaged their lawyers to deal with the matter.
The mobile facility which allows people to transfer money using the mobile phone, even if they are not bank account holders, was seen as one way of empowering Africa's rural poor and ensuring that there is enough access to commercial facilities for the rural communities.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.