27 September 2005

IP/it Update: New Pages Uploaded

I have transposed some more of the old NIPC website to IP/it-Update.com.

The transposed pages include materials by two of our distinguished former members, Raymond Henley who is now teaching the Bar vocational course at Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Cole who left chambers to take up an appointment with the civil service.

Raymond wrote a very good case note on Nicholas Strauss QC's judgment in Countrywide Communications Limited v ICL Pathway Limited and International Computers Limited. This was a case where a potential sub-contractor did a lot of work to help the main contractor get a contract upon the understanding that it would get a share of the contract work if the bid was successful. The bid was in fact successful but the sub-contractor was not taken on. The judge allowed the sub-contractor a quantum meruit. This case deserved much better recognition because this sort of situation happens all the time. It happened to arise in the computer industry but it could have happened in contruction, engineering, putting together a syndicated loan and even legal work.

Richard's article is on the St Albans case. It concerns the question whether computer programs are goods and if so whether and how far the statutory implied term as to quality applies. Though some of these issues are no longer debated so much, the issues of fitness for purpose and satisfactory quality still arise. They are certainly things to be taken into account when drafting contracts.

My case notes are on Columbia Tristar Home Video (International) Inc. v Polygram Film International BV which concerns the duty to keep records for royalty purposes and Crowther v Brownsword and Another on the consequences of repudiation. Again, neither of those cases is particularly well known but they touch on points of significant practical importance.

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