Tag Archives: United Kingdom

The Open COVID Pledge

Intellectual property rights are – by definition – monopolistic. How, then, can researchers, charities and NGOs collaborate with business in the development of new technologies to control and eradicate COVID-19?

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Simon Cowell picks bone with “The Pets Factor” UK trade mark

When TV format creator Mark Duffy struck upon the tongue-in-cheek name “The Pets Factor” for what was (presumably) a talent competition for domestic animals, he might well have smiled at his own ingenuity. Conversely, when Simon Cowell heard about the name (via Mr Duffy’s application to register it as a UK trade mark in classes 9 (software) and 41 (entertainment services)) we can guess he probably wasn’t smiling (or if he was, it was probably more of a grimace). Instead, and acting via his company Simco Limited (in conjunction with Freemantle Media) (Simco), Mr Cowell wasted no time in instructing his lawyers to oppose Mr Duffy’s application, which he had made via his company Duf Ltd.

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When appealing bears fruit: Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple

Are apples different from pears? Or are they both just fruit? Or, as cockney rhyming slang would have it, are they stairs? These are the questions (excepting the last one) that the distinguished judges of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) have been gr-apple-ing with in the recent case of Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple [2019] EUECJ T-215/17. Aside from offering opportunities for highly amusing wordplay, this recent decision includes some useful guidance on the CJEU’s approach to the visual and conceptual comparison of signs in trade mark disputes.

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ARGOS aggro: UK infringement issues arising from US advertising site

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales was asked to consider a case where 2 companies were using the same name in different territories, both legitimately, but one decided to exploit traffic mistakenly hitting its website by using targeted ads[1]

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“Liquor Before Beer, You’re In The Clear… Beer Before Wine, You’ll Be Fine,” and So On: “Confusing” Advice For The Reveling Tippler & Registering Trademarks

 

The relationship of wine, beer, and spirits has often proved complicated and confusing for the tippler, regardless of country.  There are old saws that many repeat, and report on, that say things like “Beer Before Liquor, Never Sicker; Liquor Before Beer, You’re In The Clear” and “Wine Before Beer Leaves You Queer, But Beer Before Wine Leaves You Fine.”  One also hears such advice as one travels, with sayings like “Bier auf Wein, lass das sein; Wein auf Bier, das rat’ ich dir” in Germany (which you can hear here and which I am told essentially means “Beer after wine is to be avoided; wine after beer is advised”), and “sörre bor, jó gyomor, borra sör, meggyötör” in Hungary (which you can also hear here and which has been roughly translated for me as “beer then wine leaves a good stomach; wine then beer leaves it [i.e. the stomach] tormented”), as others are quick to mention. And, of course, there are many, many other bits of drinking doggerel that are a bit difficult to remember and keep straight.

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ILN Today Post

Attorneys and gifts

The Public Guardian’s new ‘Practice Note PN7: giving gifts’ is a must-read for any attorney appointed under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or deputy, faced with the thorny issue of whether they can use the incapable donor’s funds in a transaction which is not for value – such as a payment by way of gift or to meet a person’s needs.

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ILN Today Post

A tale of Two Right Feet: indemnity costs for baby business

The tale of Two Right Feet Limited reminds us of the importance of investigating and considering the merits of a claim prior to commencing proceedings, and the dangers of forging ahead with speculative litigation.

In July 2017 a judgment of the High Court of Justice in Two Right Feet Limited (In Liquidation) v National Westminster Bank Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, KPMG LLP[1] ordered Two Right Feet Limited, an insolvent online baby products business (previously featured on BBC’s Watchdog), to pay indemnity costs of the three defendants.

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ILN Today Post

Limitation periods and standstill agreements: How can they impact your claims?

Claims arising from construction projects often require consideration of the law of limitation.

Limitation periods are statutorily prescribed windows within which claimants must commence claims. These periods do not, however, sit naturally against the nature and timeline of projects, where numerous parties are involved, the period from commencement through to completion can span many years, and the parties’ liabilities extend beyond completion.

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ILN Today Post

Block-insurance-buster

Block insurance policies are a very common way of insuring multiple properties. Landlords can benefit from economies of scale and may find the administration easier with only one renewal date and uniform terms. However, earlier this year the Upper Tribunal held that one landlord could not recover its block policy premia, despite being permitted to do so under the terms of its lease, because the premia were not “reasonably incurred”.

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ILN Today Post

Is a UK parent liable for the conduct of its foreign subsidiary?

In a landmark decision in Lungowe v Vedanta Resources Plc[1] the Court of Appeal has ruled that a number of claimants can pursue their claim against a Zambian mining company and its English parent in the English courts despite the claim’s limited connection to England. The decision has widened the scope of potential claims against a UK parent company to include claims by those affected by a subsidiary’s operations. The decision should be on the radar of UK companies with foreign operations.

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