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Design Rights in Wedding Dresses: Madine and Another v Phillips and Another

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (Ms Amanda Michaels)  Madine and Another v Phillips and Others [2017] EWHC 3268 (IPEC) (13 Dec 2017) 

Thelma Madine makes wedding addresses.  According to Amanda Michaels, who tried an action that Mrs Madine brought against Miss Leanne Phillips and her mother Mrs Pauline Phillips, two of her former employees, for design right and copyright infringement and passing off, "the hallmark of her dress designs is their extravagance, not just in terms of the price of the gowns, but in terms of the size and weight of the skirts, which tend to have to be supported by hoops (like a crinoline), and the elaborate nature of the decoration applied to the dresses." Mrs Madine was featured in the Channel 4 documentary My Big Fat Gypsy Weddingwhich was broadcast some years ago.

The Action
One of Mrs Madine's customers was a bride who is referred to as "Delilah" in Miss Michael's judgment.  Delilah appears in the above photo  i…

FRAND - a Postscript

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Patent Court (Mr Justice Birss) Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and Another [2017] EWHC 3083 (Pat) (30 Nov 2017) 

On 5 April 2017 Mr Justice Birss delivered two judgments. One contained the judge's reasoning in full which was seen only by the parties' lawyers while the other was redacted.  I discussed the redacted version in FRAND8 Oct 2017. The problem with redactions, as Mr Justice Birss observed at paragraph [23] of his judgment in Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and another [2017] EWHC 3083 (Pat) (30 Nov 2017) is that "unless the public can see and understand a judge's reasons they cannot hold the courts to account."  Since different parties to the litigation had requested the removal of different parts of the full judgment, his lordship convened that hearing with the parties' solicitors to give directions about what should be published and what should not.

In approaching that issue the learned…

Trade Marks: Nicoventures Holdings Ltd v The London Vape Company Ltd

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Jane Lambert

Chancery Division  (Mr Justice Birss) Nicoventures Holdings Ltd v The London Vape Company Ltd [2017] EWHC 3393 (Ch) (21 Dec 2017) 

On 26 Oct 2016, Nicoventures Holdings Limited applied to register the above trade mark for:
electronic cigarettes; cartridges for electronic cigarettes; liquids for electronic cigarettes; cigarettes containing tobacco substitutes; tobacco substitutes; cigarettes; tobacco; tobacco products; cigarette cases; cigarette boxes in class 34; andretail store services connected with the sale of e-cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, liquid solutions for use in electronic cigarettes, tobacco, smokers' articles, matches, personal vaporisers and electronic cigarettes and flavourings and solutions therefore in class 35. The application was opposed by The London Vape Company Ltd. under s.5 (2) (b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.  The earlier trade mark upon which the opponent relied was the following mark:








That mark was registered for electronic cigarettes; Li…

Passing off - The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Luckes and Others

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Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (HH Judge Hacon) The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Luckes and Others [2017] EWHC 3176 (IPEC) (7 Dec 2017)

Yesterday I discussed Judge Hacon's judgment in The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Central Moves Ltd and Another [2017] EWHC 3175 (IPEC) (7 Dec 2017) in Damages for Passing off - The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd. v Central Moves7 Jan 2018 NIPC Law.   That was an appeal by the National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd. ("NGRS") from District Judge Vary's judgment awarding £1,275 damages against a former director of a dissolved company for passing off and costs on the small claims track scale. On the same day as he heard the appeal in Central Moves, His Honour heard The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Luckes and Others[2017] EWHC 3176 (IPEC) (7 Dec 2017) which was another appeal by the NGRS against the judgment of another district judge.  In that case District …

Damages for Passing off - The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd. v Central Moves

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (HH Judge Hacon) The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Central Moves Ltd and Another [2017] EWHC 3175 (IPEC) (7 Dec 2017)

This was an appeal by the National Guild of Removers & Storers ("NGRS") against an award of £1,275 damages in its favour by District Judge Vary for passing off. By dismissing that appeal, His Honour Judge Hacon seems to have settled a 7 year controversy as to what should be the correct measure of damages for what is often an inadvertent misrepresentation of continued membership of the NGRS by a removal or storage business that no longer wishes to remain a member of that guild.

The NGRS

At paragraph [4] of his judgment in The National Guild of Removers & Storers Ltd v Central Moves Ltd and Another [2017] EWHC 3175 (IPEC) (7 Dec 2017), His Honour Judge Hacon described the NGRS as "a trade body which promotes the interests of those trading in the removal and storage industry". O…

British and American IP Attaché Networks

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Jane Lambert

On 19 Sept 2017 I chaired two seminars on IP rights in China for businesses, lawyers and patent and trade mark attorneys in Yorkshire. One took place in Leeds in the studios of Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre and the other in the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre. Both were attended by leaders in business, education and the arts including, in particular, Phoenix's artistic director, Sharon Watson, who was about to visit China with a view to bringing her company to that country.

The main speaker at those talks was Tom Duke who is our IP attaché to China and Hong Kong.  Tom is one of four officials who work with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to provide support for UK businesses seeking advice on local IP matters.  The other three are Christabel Koh in Singapore who covers South East Asia, Angelica Garcia in Brazil and Shilpi Mehta Nanda in India. You can obtain information about all those attac…

What constitutes Joint Copyright? Martin v Kogan

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Jane Lambert

HH Judge Hacon Martin  and Another v Kogan[2017] EWHC 2927 (IPEC) (22 Nov 2017)

Florence Foster Jenkins was described by Stephen Pile as "the world's worst opera singer." In 2016 a film was made about her life starring Meryl Street as the singer and Hugh Grant her husband. The film was very popular.  Streep was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.  The movie grossed receipts of US$44.3 million by 16 Oct 2016 according to Wikipedia.

The screenplay was credited to Nicholas Martin who is a film and TV script writer.  While he was writing the script Mr Martin was living with Julia Kogan who is an opera singer.  There was no dispute hat they had discussed the project during that time.   Ms Kogan claimed to have contributed to the script to the extent that she was entitled to be regarded as a joint author.  
Mr Martin and his company sued Ms Kogan for a declaration that he was the sole author of the work while she counterclaimed for a declaration that she is…