"Brundle" is a lovely word. It rolls off the tongue in a most agreeable manner. To Merpel it sounds like a cross between 'bundle' and 'trundle'. However it is also a name that has been heard to echo round the courts in recent times: FH Brundle v Perry  EWHC 475 (IPEC) is an Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, England and Wales, ruling of Judge Hacon from 6 March and it addresses that minefield for unsuspecting patent-entitled litigants and their legal advisers -- liability for making groundless threats to sue someone for patent infringement.
|Norbert checks out unsuspecting fences for|
Judge Hacon upheld Brundle's claim but dismissed Perry's counterclaim. In his view:
* it was not necessary for a claimant in a threats action to prove that the defendant had, in so many words, said that he intended to issue proceedings: all he had to do was to show that the defendant had asserted that he had legal rights in respect of intellectual property and that he intended, as against the claimant, to enforce those rights;
* the threat to sue need not be explicit: might be veiled or covert, conditional or future [well, they could hardly be in the past, notes Merpel].
* on the true construction of the letters, threats had been made. A reasonable recipient of the letters would have understood Perry to have referred to both variants of the bracket and that the threats were directed at Brundle, the addressee of the letters. On this basis, Brundle was clearly a "person aggrieved".
* on the evidence, the bracket did not fall within claim one. Since it didn't infringe the patent, Perry had no defence to Brundle's threats action.
This Kat notes the force of Perry's first letter, addressed to Brundle's "Chief Executive/Chairman", which reads as follows:
This Nylofor product infringes my Patent and I demand that you provide an Account of Profits of direct profit on sales of:
1. The quantity of the Nylofor 3D bracket you have sold between August 2003 – October 2011.
2. The number of Nylofor 3M fence panels that have been sold during the same period that are installed using the Nylofor bracket.
3. The number of fence posts sold corresponding with the number of fence panels sold during the same period.
4. The quantity of add on products sold such as the allen key tool specifically designed to use with the Nylofor 3D bracket.
I am legally entitled to a share of these profits whilst the Patent was in force and which is currently being restored to the register, as it had lapsed temporarily due to Patent Office error in late 2011.
I intend to take proceedings against your Company in the High Court if no amicable solution can be reached regards paying me my share of the profits for your use of my inventions without any licence to do so. Please respond within 14 days or I will commence proceedings against your Company.
"Mr Perry pointed out that the October Letter was addressed to the attention of "Chief Executive/Chairman". He submitted that worldly wise CEOs and Chairmen of companies such as Brundle do not take such letters seriously".You have to be a litigant in person to say things like that; it may be doubted that any barrister would be able to keep a straight face while delivering lines like that.
Hinge and Bracket here