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May 2013
Yorkshire IP Newsletter
No. 1

The Media Centre
01484 590090


4-5 Gray's Inn Square
Gray's Inn
DX 1828 LDE
T 020 7404 5252
F 020 7242 7883 

Recent Cases

We have all come to Yorkshire

Dear Reader,

Earlier this year Jane Lambert, who had practised on her own account from the Huddersfield Media Centre  since 2004 as the only full time intellectual property barrister outside London, accepted our invitation to join 4-5 Gray's Inn Square

In joining us Jane did not leave Yorkshire. You can still call on her enormous knowledge and experience of IP and technology law whenever you want without traipsing to London . You can see her in conference at the Media Centre or Gumption if you wish. She will still carry on all the activities that she carried on before, such as chairing the Leeds and Sheffield Inventors Groups and the Barnsley IP clinic. You will continue to bump into her at events like Venturefest Yorkshire and Leeds Girl Geek Dinners.

But you can also see the rest of us in Yorkshire whenever you need us. Not just our IP and Tech Law Group but our other specialists in administrative, chancery, commercial law, planning and tax law. 

When Jane or any of our members appears for you in the Rolls Building she will have all the resources of a powerful London chambers behind her. Conversely. if you need her or one of her colleagues in Leeds we can now support her there. We are also  developing a presence in Newport should you need representation  in the Intellectual Property Office. You can read all about our services in Jane's article "Supporting Yorkshire Business."

Of course, you are always welcome to see us in London should you so wish. Gray's Inn is beautiful especially at this time of the year. George Scanlan and I are now clerking Jane and her team so give me a ring on 020 7670 1555 or fill in our contact form. I look forward to seeing you.

Yours sincerely,

Senior Clerk
We should like to congratulate:-
  • Bradford City on its convincing win over Northampton. We wish the Bantams every success in the First Division.
  • Bradford City Council for saving the Odeon, a magnificent building. Here's our suggestion as to what you could do with it.
  • Northern Ballet for taking London by storm with The Great Gatsby. Here's our take on the show when it opened in Leeds ("Life Follows Art: The Great Gatsby" Terpsichore 8 March 2013).
  • The new Boar Members of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and wish them well.
  • The IP Group and Sheffield University on the launch of its £30 million venture capital fund.
  • Liz and her team at Virtuoso Legal for sponsoring the Leeds Big Bookend. We hope it goes well.
Boxing Clever
The patent box is a tax concession to encourage businesses to invest in research and development in the UK which came into force on 1 April 2013.  

The Leeds Inventors Group held a seminar on the patent box and R & D Credits on 8 May 2013 where the speakers were Jane Lambert and Dan Brookes of BDO. You can find a report of the meeting and download Dan's slides here. Jane gave a similar presentation to one she had delivered in Liverpool on 29 April 2013 which you will find here

If you have any questions about the patent box, R & D credits or any other point relating to IP and tax Anne Fairpo is an authority. You can contact her on 020 7670 1550.

Small IP Claims

Since 1 Oct 2012 it was been possible to bring a claim for an injunction and other relief for most intellectual property claims without risking a ruinous order for costs if the claim fails. This will go a long way towards restoring small businesses' confidence in the intellectual property system. 

A lot has been written about the small claims track and you will find links to many of those articles in Jane Lambert's article "Patents County Court - the New Small Claims Track Rules" NIPC Law 20 Sept 2012. Jane also gave a presentation on the new jurisdiction to the Sheffield Inventors Group on 1 Oct 2012 and you can download her slides here.

Since Jane gave her presentation the small claims limit was raised from £5.000 to £10,000 and damages based or contingency fee agreements ("DBA") have been permitted. Because of the predictability of costs with the simple small claims procedure we think that DBAs would work for claims in that court. Jane discussed that possibility as well as others in "IP Litigation - the Funding Options" NIPC Law on 10 April 2013.

If you want to discuss any of those possibilities call Steve or George on 020 7670 1555.

Case Notes

Stresslson AG v Thornoton & Ross

D2581565This was an opposition to the registration of a trade mark. Huddersfield pharmaceutical company had applied to register this sign as a trade mark. Its application was opposed by the Swiss menswear retailer Strellson AG under s.5 (2) (b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994. Thornton & Ross were represented by our member Jane Lambert

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Others v Harris and Others

This was an application for a proprietary injunction, an injunction to retrain the first defendant from dealing with or disposing of his house, car or his other property on the ground that he held those assets on trust for the claimants. The claimants, the trade association of the Hollywood film industry and several of its members, contended that the first defendant held those assets on trust for them because he had bought the assets with moneys derived from the infringement of their' copyrights. This was the first time such an application had been brought in the UK or indeed anywhere. Had it succeeded it would been a very powerful remedy for copyright owners. Jane Lambert who appeared for our members resisted the application successfully.

Software Patents Revisited

rcj3The Court of Appeal reconsidered the exclusion from patentability of software patents "as such" in HTC Europe Co Ltd. v Apple Inc. The parties to the dispute had settled their differences but Apple wanted the Comptroller to appear on the appeal to protect the public interest. This is a difficult case to follow and Jane Lambert has discerned the main points in her case note. 

Read Jane's Case Note.

Schütz v Werit

This was the Supreme Court's second patent case and concerned the extent to which the owner of a patented product can repair it by replacing a worn part with a spare supplied by a third party. This was a topic that had recently been considered by the House of Lords.  The importance of this case is that it clarified the law relating to repair.
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