It's not yet available on BAILII, but the Court of Appeal's decision in Nokia Corporation v Interdigital Technology Corporation yesterday has already been snapped up by the Thomson-owned Lawtel subscription-only service.
This was an appeal by Interdigital against Mr Justice Pumfrey's refusal to order (i) Nokia not to pursue certain applications in the US courts, (ii) a declaration that discovery sought in the US applications was irrelevant to any issue in UK patent proceedings or (iii) a stay of the UK proceedings pending the outcome of an arbitration between the parties. In the application before him Pumfrey J concluded that a decision as to whether to restrain the US applications was not a mere case management decision. For the court to interfere, Interdigital needed to show there had been abusive behaviour on Nokia's part that had prejudiced it. On the facts before it, there was no evidence of an abuse of process. FurtheHe also held that, while it was unlikely that the material requested in the US applications would be of relevance to the UK proceedings, that possibility could not be excluded. Nor, in his opition, was there any basis for a stay of the proceedings.
Interdigital: may be appealing to their customers but not to the Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal dismissed Interdigital's appeal. The only reason Interdigital applied for a stay was to influence the arbitration proceedings, which was not a good enough reason. Interdigital had to show a good reason for the stay and the judge was correct in finding that it had not done so. Further matters that the judge had dealt with had become irrelevant since the judge's order because the arbitration had been concluded, but Interdigital had failed to show that the judge had erred in any way.
The IPKat always glazes over a little when cases of this sort come up, particularly when they are so heavily dependent on facts which (for the sake of convenience and speed) are generally omitted from newsy summaries. Still, it's worth remembering that applications for stays and suchlike have a strong equitable basis to them: the courts will consider what is fair and right on the facts, rather than read the answer from the text of a lawbook.
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More on stays here, here and here