For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Do it by the book: case management and questions for reference

Earlier today in the Patents County Court (PCC) Judge Birss gave judgment in Westwood v Knight [2010] EWPCC 16 -- not so much a case as a case management conference (CMC), the first of its kind under the new PCC procedures which came into force at the beginning of last month. This is a bit of a curiosity and, as the judge explained, was a worthwhile exercise here but not something that was likely to happen on a regular basis. In short the claimant, Dame Vivienne Westwood, was throwing the book at the defendant, an internet trader in fashion goods who doing a poor imitation of a small litigant representing himself. Trade mark and copyright infringement and passing off were alleged (a sample of the alleged infringement appears above) and Westwood applied to invalidate Knight's own trade marks. In response, Knight said that Westwood didn't have any rights, he hadn't infringed them anyway and the judge was biased, rude and arrogant and should be replaced.  If you love litigation, enjoy case management and want to read a textbook approach to it by an enthusiastic new judge with the bit between his teeth, this is just for you.


Exclusive: the IPKat reveals the Court
of Justice's secret formula for tackling
IP references for preliminary rulings
Also earlier today, in the loftier forum of the Chancery Division, Mr Justice Arnold was being asked if he wouldn't mind amending the questions on which he had previously asked the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling in SAS Institute Inc. v World Programming Limited, noted by the IPKat here.  In today's ruling (here), noted by the Kat's learned friend Hugo Cox on the 1709 Blog here, Arnold J said "no" -- it wasn't necessary and would anyway cause delay.  The judge did however say one thing which caused the Kat's whiskers to twitch:
"24 It is fair to say that SAS have identified a small typographical error in question 2 ("interpreting" should read "interpreted"), but in my view this is an obvious error which will not cause any difficulty in the proceedings before the Court of Justice".
No-one should ever underestimate the capacity of the Court of Justice of the European Union to cause difficulties for itself, warns the Kat sternly.

1 comment:

Mark Anderson said...

Hmmm... An orb with a Maltese cross used as a trade mark for clothing. I wonder whether the Harris Tweed Authority has any views on that?

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