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Showing posts from June, 2006

Innovators Toolkit

A post from my public access blog "nipc invention" which may interest some of you is a seminar called the "Innovators Toolkit" which will take place at Lancaster University's InfoLab21 on 3 August 2006 between 09:15 and 12:30.

I am giving one of the talks but the main speaker will be Dr Ron Jones who has 25 years practcial experience as an inventor and innovator.

This will be one of the first initiatives in the UK of ip.com, a US company that offers a variety of services to inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs and other creative people. Further information on the UK services are available from the UK page of the ip.com website.

Trade Marks and Domain Names: Ellerman Investments Ltd v Vanci

This is an interesting example of how the courts can still be useful in a domain name dispute.

The claimants included the Ritz Hotel,The Ritz Club,and the Ritz Club London Online. As one might imagine, they had registered a number of national and Community trade marks that included the word RITZ in class 21 including UK registered trade mark no. 1509163 for RITZ for "gaming services" and CTM no. 1703974 for RITZ for the "provision of gaming services accessed via local and world-wide computer networks". The defendants were had registered the domain name which was the URL for a website called RoyalPlaza.Net which contained information about gaming with links to third party sites such as Pacific Poker, Party Poker and Poker Room. The claimants complained of trade mark infringement to which complaint the defendants responded by registering 5 more sites containing the letters RITZ, namely , , , and .

The claimants sued for infringement of their trade marks under s.10 (1)…

Patents - Damages Inquiry: Ultraframe (UK) Ltd v Eurocell Building Plastics Ltd

This is the latest episode in a marathon case that has already made a lot of interesting law. The claimant company, Ultraframe (UK) Ltd ("Ultraframe")., designs and makes modular conservatory roofing systems. One of its products, the Ultralite 500, is partly protected by UK patent no GB2300012 and partly by unregistered design right. The defendant, Eurocell Building Plastics Ltd. ("Eurocell"), makes and sells window and door systems, conservatory roof systems, PVCU profiles and rooflines. Until 2002 Eurocell distributed Ultraframe's Ultralite 500 system. In that year it started to make and sell its own system known as the "Pinnacle 500". Ultraframe alleged that the "Pinnacle 500" infringed its patent and design rights and sued Eurocell for the infringement of those design rights.

Mr Justice Lewison held in Ultraframe (UK) Ltd v Eurocell Building Plastics Ltd and another [2004] 1785 EWHC (Ch) (22 July 2004) that the design rights had been inf…

Confidential Information - More Chinese Walls: Gus Consulting GmbH v Leboeuf Lamb Greene & Macrae

In Bolkiah v. KPMG[1998] UKHL 52, [1999] 2 AC 222, [1999] 1 All ER 517, [1999] 2 WLR 215 (16 Dec, 1998) the House of Lords considered for the first time some of the problems of confidentiality and conflict that have arisen with the development of multinational, multi-service professional firms. The question in that case was whether, and, if so how far, a firm of accountants that had acted in one capacity for one party to a law suit could properly act for that party's opponents in another. There was never any question of impropriety. The professionals involved were not part of the same team. Steps were taken to minimize the already small risk of misuse of confidential information, But despite all those measures, the House were not satisfied that the accountants had discharged the burden of showing that there was no risk of confidential information in their possession that they had obtained in the course of a former client relationship unwittingly or inadvertently coming to the noti…

Trade Marks - Parallel Imports and Summary Judgment: Doncaster Pharmaceuticals v Bolton Pharmaceutical Co.

This case was about the exercise of the judicial discretion to grant summary judgment under CPR Part 24. One of the principal changes brought about by the replacement of the Orders of the Supreme Court by the Civil Procedure Rules ("CPR") was the substitution of what we used to call the Saudi Eagle test for "triable issue" test for summary judgment.

The Saudi Eagle case (Alpine Bulk Transport Co Inc v Saudi Eagle Shipping Co Inc (1986) 2 Lloyd’s Report 221) was an application to set aside judgment under RSC O13 r 9. The rule enabled the court to set aside or vary any judgment entered on such terms as it thought just. One of the advantages of the old rules was that a simple statement of principle could spawn a judge-made code that tended to fit just about every circumstance in the same was as a fragment of grit produces a pearl. The pearl from this particular piece of grit was that the court's discretion under O19 r 9 would be exercised in favour of a defendant …