South China calls for regulator help on copyright spat

South China Holdings (0265) claimed its former business partner and listing candidate Sinosoft Technology forged documents and urged local regulators to reconsider allowing the initial public offering.

The accusations came two days before Sinosoft, which was oversubscribed by 15 times, starts trading on the local bourse tomorrow.

South China invested four million yuan (HK$5.06 million) in a joint venture in 2000 with Sinosoft.

It is now seeking 210.4 million yuan in compensation from Sinosoft in a mainland court for failure to share copyrights on more than 50 pieces of software.

South China has already filed a suit with the High Court in Hong Kong covering the ownership of intellectual properties. But the court has yet to reply.

South China chief executive Christina Cheung Choi-ngor held a second press conference yesterday.

Cheung said it was stated in an original contract that copyright belonged to the joint venture. However, she claimed Sinosoft made another contract that stated the copyright belonged only to itself by forging a signature of a South China employee.

Also, Sinosoft claimed in its IPO prospectus that the mainland court has ordered the case be withdrawn which Cheung said was not true.

Sinosoft denied the fresh allegations and appointed lawyers to deal with the lawsuit. In its listing prospectus, the lawsuit was listed in the part of “legal proceeding” instead of “risk factors”. The listing candidate claimed “there is no foreseeable risk” from the lawsuit.


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