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Practice: More from Media CAT

I am grateful to Mr John Rogers for bringing Media CAT Ltd. v Billington [2010] EWPCC 18 (17 Dec 2010) to my attention.
It appears that Judge Birss QC and his clerk reviewed all the cases in his list and found 13 more that had been brought by Media CAT in September and October plus another 14 in November. All involve similar issues to the cases I mentioned in my case note of 12 Dec 2010. Many of them consist only of a claim form and particulars of claim. At least one defendant seems not to be without a response pack.
The judge has listed all those cases for directions at a hearing to take place on 17 Jan 2011 of his own motion under CPR 3.3 (1) and (4). II should be interested to know what Media CAT's solicitors have to say about it.
The Bar provides pro bono advice and representation through the Bar Pro Bono Unit. Anyone affected should have a word with his local CAB, law centre or MP first. I am sure most IP chambers would be glad to take referrals from the Unit. We certainly wo…

Domain Names: Lifestyle Management Ltd. v Frater

An interesting little domain name case that is curious in several respects: first, that it was brought in the courts at all rather than before an administrative panel appointed by one of the UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) dispute resolution service providers; secondly, that it was brought in England when none of the parties appears to have anything to do with England, thirdly, that it was brought in the Technology and Construction Court which is part of the Queen’s Bench Division rather than the Chancery Division or even the Patents County Court; and fourthly, the claimant’s cause of action.

The Facts

In Lifestyle Management Ltd. v Frater [2010] EWHC 3258 (TCC) (10 Dec 2010) the claimants were companies registered in Kenya and the British Virgin Islands while the defendant was in Scotland. The claimants have a website at www.offshorelsm.com which indicates that they provide services “for the international investor and the professional expatriate”. Their trading nam…

Practice: Media CAT Ltd. v A and others

InMedia C.A.T. Ltd. v A and others [2010] EWPCC 17, His Honour Judge Birss QC had 8 requests for judgment. The particulars of claim in each case alleged that:"The defendant, someone authorised by him to use his internet connection, or someone who gained access to the defendant's internet connection due to the router to that connections having no or no adequate security was at all material times a user of the peer-to-peer file sharing software known as BitTorrent 6.1.2 which allows the user to share digital media content files on a network with other users."
The relief sought in the requests for judgment included "a permanent injunction pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the Court; ordering the defendant to take reasonable steps to safeguard their internet connection being used, either through the defendant's personal computer and/or third parties taking advantage of the defendant's unsecured wireless connection to repeat the infringement of the claimants…

Copyright: ITV Broadcasting Ltd v TV Catch Up Ltd

According to the knowledgebase of its website TVCatchup is an “internet television platform” which enables subscribers to watch live television on a computer or mobile device from anywhere in the UK. In ITV Broadcasting Ltd and Others v TV Catch Up Ltd [2010] EWHC 3063 (Ch) (25 Nov 2010) Mr. Justice Kitchin described that company’s activities at paragraphs [3] to [4] of his judgment as follows:“3. The defendant operates a website at www.tvcatchup.com which allows members of the public to watch live UK television, including the claimants' channels, on their computers, iPhones and games consoles. Any member of the public wishing to access the service must first become a member. He can then select one of over 50 channels by pressing on the appropriate icon, whereupon he is taken to a new screen on which the defendant provides a stream of the programme being broadcast on that channel. There is a slight delay before the member sees the programme because the defendant first shows one of…

Copyright Licensing: The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd and Others v Meltwater Holding BV and Others

In The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd and Othersv Meltwater Holding BV and Others [2010] EWHC 3099 (Ch) (26 Nov 2010)Mrs. Justice Proudman had to decide whether the customers of a commercial media monitoring service needed a licence from the copyright licensing agency of the British newspaper industry to receive emailed reports containing data that had been extracted by the monitoring service from the websites of British newspapers.The parties to this action were ·the leading British newspaper publishers and the Newspaper Licensing Agency, their copyright licensing agency (“the publishers”);·Meltwater Holding BV and its British subsidiary the companies providing newspaper monitoring service (“Meltwater”) and·the trade association of the companies that used Meltwater’s services (“the end-users”).By this action, the publishers sought a declaration that the end-users require a licence or consent from the publishers in order lawfully to receive and/or use the Meltwater News Service.The Co…

Patents: Unilever Plc and Others v Shanks

This appeal was a rare inventor’s compensation case. S.7 (2) (a) of the Patents Act 1977 provides that a patent for an invention may be granted primarily to the inventor or joint inventors. However, this provision is trumped by paragraph (b) where a person by virtue of any enactment or rule of law or by virtue of an enforceable term of any agreement entered into with the inventor before the making of the invention was at the time of the making of the invention entitled to the whole of the property in it (other than equitable interests) in the United Kingdom.Such a person would typically be the inventor’s employer either by virtue of an express term in the inventor’s contract of employment or s.39 of the Patents Act 1977. If the inventor is employed in a capacity in which he or she is likely to invent something such as a member of a research and development team in a private company or other institution he or she will be paid a salary for such work. Also, he or she will be given credit…

Patents County Court Practice: Westwood v Knight

Save that the claimant is a well-known fashion designer, Westwood v Knight [2010] EWPCC 16 (19 Nov 2010) is a bog standard case management conference in a trade mark and copyright infringement and passing off claim. The reason why this case deserves attention is that the Judge gave some useful guidance on the following issuesDirections for transfer to the Patents County CourtSkeleton arguments at the CMCPleadingsStatements of truth, andEvidence.Directions on TransferThis case had started life in the Chancery Division just before the long vacation and was transferred to the Patents County Court on 1 Oct 2010, the day that the new Patent County Court rules came into force. On the order for transfer the master had directed a CMC on the first open day after 22 Oct 2010. The judge commended that order as “a useful thing to do since it ensured that the matter came before the Patents County Court for directions at an early stage after transfer.”Skeleton ArgumentIn this case the claimant’s so…

Super Injunctions: Ntuli v Donald

A super injunction is one in which an anonymized applicant is granted an injunction restraining an anonymized respondent from doing specified but unpublishable things and further restraining the respondent and others from publishing the fact that the injunction had been sought and obtained.
In Ntuli v Donald [2010] EWCA Civ 1276 (16 Nov 2010) the appellant Adakini Ntuli sought to overturn an order by Mr. Justice Eady restraining her from publishing, using or disclosing scheduled categories of confidential information, the existence of the proceedings or the identity of the parties. The information itself concerned details of the Ntuli's personal relationship with Howard Donald of "Take That". After their relationship came to an end, Ntuli sent Donald the following text: "Why shud I continue 2 suffer financially 4 the sake of loyalty when selling my story will sort my life out?" She then engaged the publicist Max Clifford whereupon Donald applied to Mr. Justice Ea…

Assessment of Damages: National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Silveria

This is a very useful authority for the following points:
the jurisdiction of the Patents County Court in trade mark infringement and passing-off claims; the basis for assessment of damages for trade mark infringement and passing-off; the basis to be applied where there is no loss of a sale; and the procedure to be followed when the damages awarded exceed the limitation in the claim form. Background

InNational Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Silveria (t/a C S Movers) [2010] EWPCC 15 (12 Nov 2010) the claimant was a trade association for a number of businesses in the removal and storage industry. The claimant owned a number of trade marks which it allowed its members to print on their stationery and advertisements. Members were required to pay an annual subscription, to follow a code of practice and comply with awards of the association ombudsmen. Members who left the claimant association were obliged to remove the trade marks from their advertisements and stationery at once. Sinc…