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Showing posts from November, 2010

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

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Revised 27 Oct 2017
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…

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…

Patents: Abbott Laboratories Ltd v Medinol Ltd

Abbott Laboratories Ltd v Medinol Ltd [2010] EWHC 2865 (Pat) (12 Nov 2010) was a claim for a declaration of non-infringement and revocation of three European patents for cardiac stents and a counterclaim for infringement. The patents were derived from a US patent. The corresponding European patent had been divided into a number of divisional patents. These had been the subject of opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office. The Opposition Division had revoked two of the grants though the decision was under appeal. There had also been proceedings in respect of the same patents in Germany and the Netherlands which resulted in findings of non-infringement. There are shortly to be similar proceedings in Dublin.
The claimant attacked the patents for want of novelty and inventiveness, added matter and insufficiency. The judge, Mr. Justice Arnold, found that one of the patents had been anticipated but that the others were valid (or, in the case of one patent) would be valid. He also…

Global Copyright Reform: A View From The South In Response To Lessig

Confidential Information: EFH Technologies Ltd and another v. Rytium Technology FZC and another

This decision of Lord Turnbull in EFH Technologies Ltd. and another v Reytium Technology FZC and another [2010] ScotCS CSOH_143 (29 Oct 2010) highlights differences between the procedures in Scotland for obtaining the equivalent of interim injunctive relief and those of the rest of the United Kingdom.
This was an application for an interim interdict (the equivalent of an interim injunction) to restrain the defender (defendant) from manufacturing, distributing or selling a product called NaturAD Shrimp Treat. Thisis used to prevent freshly caught prawns from turning black and unsightly. The pursuer (claimant) alleged that NaturAD Shrimp Treat was a copy of its own product called Prawnfresh. The pursuer's product had not been patented - though a patent application had been filed in December 2009 several years after Prawnfresh had first been marketed. The pursuer therefore had to rely on the law of confidence - again notwithstanding that the product had been in the stream of com…

Setting the limit on the value of claims heard in the Patents County Court

On 31 July 2009, a working group consisting of the three Patents Court judges, His Honour Judge Fysh QC and representatives of the patent bar, CIPA, ITMA and various other interest groups published a report on Proposals for Reform of the Patents County Court.
For those who are not familiar with the English legal system, there are two tiers of civil courts of first instance in England and Wales: the High Court of Justice with unlimited jurisdiction throughout England and Wales; and a network of local courts with jurisdiction limited by geography and subject matter known as "the county courts."S.287 (1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 enabled the Lord Chancellor to designate any county court as a "patents county court" and to confer on it jurisdiction to hear and determined proceedings relating to patents and designs. There has only ever been one patents county court at any one time, Two courts have been designated and both of those have been in Lon…

Patents: Alk-Abello Ltd v Meridian Medical Technologies

One of my worries when the Intellectual Property Users Committee announced its Proposals for Reform of the Patents County Court was that the proposed costs cap on intellectual property litigation in the PCC would be scuppered by transfers to the High Court or routine arguments that a party had behaved badly. My fears have been allayed to a certain extent by Judge Birrs QC's pledge to make the new Rules and Practice Direction work. Thus it would enable the Patents County Court to achieve its objective of ensuring that"small and medium sized enterprises, and private individuals, were not deterred from innovation by the potential cost of litigation to safeguard their rights." If that comes to pass, I am very glad to hear it. I have to add that I think the judge means what he says. I found myself up against Colin Birrs more than once when he was at the bar and I can say that he was always a fair, reasonable and not an unpleasant opponent.
Having said, the judge did kick thi…

Cases You Should Have Heard Of