Tag Archives: courts

The Supreme Court encourages courts to follow his example and hold trials online

In view of the ruling of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Presidium of the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation from March 18, 20201 Russian courts have been working in a new “self-isolated” regime for just over a month. Personal reception of citizens in courts is suspended, it is recommended to submit documents through electronic reception of courts, and courts are considering only certain categories of cases.

The Supreme Court has already drawn up the results of the first month of work in the new regime2. From March 18 to April 20, 2020 the courts received 225.2 thousand documents in electronic form – this is one and a half times or 77.3 thousand documents more than for the same period of the previous year. More than 286 million times, citizens have used the state automation system “Pravosudiye” (Justice). Also by the end of May a system of online familiarization with case materials is planned to be introduced in all commercial courts of all instances3.

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Functioning of Courts in India during Lock-down

On April 6, 2020, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India issued directions in a matter taken up Suo moto to establish the guidelines for the effective working of the Courts in India through video conferencing during the COVID-19 lockdown. [1]

The bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageshwara Rao issued the following directions under Articles 142 of the Constitution of India:

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Trouble in patent troll paradise?

Patents are the strongest form of IP protection. Indeed, because patents provide strict exclusionary rights, typically for a period of 20 years, patent holders have long been given broad latitude by the courts to protect themselves against infringing competitors. The historically strong position of patentees was further bolstered when, in 1982, Congress established a specialised appeals court for patent matters, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”). Indeed, soon after its establishment, the Federal Circuit issued several pro-patentee decisions that expanded the range of patentable inventions and made it more difficult to invalidate issued patents.

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Dancing on the point of a pin?

Is there a difference between a “lifetime of 20 years” and a “design life of 20 years”?  The Technology & Construction Court said “no” (sort of) but the Court of Appeal said “yes”.  Does the difference matter?  Over £19 million of damages was hanging on this question, so yes, it was rather important.

The case involved the construction of an offshore wind farm, which suffered serious failures shortly after construction.  The contract documents were lengthy and in parts highly technical.  They were also inconsistent with each other, which does happen sometimes.  The Employer’s Requirements included the Technical Requirements (TR), which stated that “the works elements shall be designed for a minimum site specific “design life” of 20 years without major retrofits or refurbishments”.  But the TR also stated “the design of the foundations shall ensure a lifetime of 20 years in every aspect without planned replacement”.  The contract required that the design of the works and the works themselves “shall satisfy any performance specifications or requirements of the Employer as set out in this Agreement”.

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