Of secret disclosures, share deals and deputy judges. "Disclosing business secrets to share purchasers" is an IP Draughts post by the ever-perceptive Mark Anderson, it being a review of the recent ruling in Richmond Pharmacology Limited v Chester Overseas Limited and others  EWHC 2692 (Ch) noted by the IPKat here. In his concluding passage Mark asks a question that has long troubled this Kat, who has occasionally asked it too, and Mark offers three possible answers:
Why do the courts sometimes give important questions of contractual interpretation to deputy judges and not to proper (ie full-time) judges? Is it because:
1. Most judges have little professional experience of drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, and therefore there is no real advantage in giving such a case to a full-time judge. This is unlikely to be an acknowledged reason (!)In the interests of transparency, it would be good if a listing judge (past or present) would comment on this issue.
2. Such questions are not considered particularly significant by the judge in charge of the list, as they are considered to raise few questions of public importance. Contracts are mostly private matters for the parties. Therefore they can be delegated to a deputy judge [Mark adds that, in his view, the present case has some public importance in the context of parties’ obligations in mergers and acquisitions, these being a significant part of the commercial life of the country].
3. Such cases are easy to manage and decide, and therefore suitable for deputy judges. Sometimes the deputy judge is being assessed for his or her suitability for promotion to a full-time role ... and cases of this kind are good tests of judicial calibre.
|To most litigants, all judge look pretty much|
alike -- but they have their own pecking order ...
said to have published a document stating that "it is estimated that 70 per cent of the value of companies’ intellectual assets stems from its trade secrets". A couple of readers have asked where this figure comes from. This Kat's hunch is that, whether it was true or not when first stated, it has become "officially" true as a form of traditional knowledge that has been endorsed by generation upon generation, as it were, and has never been contradicted. Anyway, there's another piece of traditional knowledge which has just come in for a bit of a hammering: the statement that 80 per cent of technical information is found only in published patents documents and is never published elsewhere. On Patinformatics, Anthony Trippe does some investigation of his own. In the field of chemical substances, it appears that the true figure for information published only in patent documents is around 95 per cent.
Well done! It's good to be able to acknowledge the efforts of the MARQUES Class 46 weblog, which just not only reached the 4,000 email subscriber mark last week, but positively smashed its way through it. This European trade mark weblog, run by MARQUES members and supporters (including two current and one emeritus Kats, plus one recent guest Kat), also has a searchable database of getting on for 3,800 items -- mainly case notes -- stretching back to November 2007.
|Getting primed on the|
Apple litigation ...
Thanks so much, Luca, for sharing your experiences with us. The UK Intellectual Property Office had a small but satisfying victory of its own earlier this year [noted here], but it that was a rather less sophisticated operation, it seems.
"As clients are submerging me with the copies of the scam mailing they receive from all over the world, for the second time I tried to stop one of them, namely OHMI, via the “cross border complaint system” existing among the European Bodies for regulation of advertising. As a matter of fact I informed the Italian Istituto per l’Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (IAP) of the mailing and the body found it actually misleading. As the address mentioned in the scam was British, the IAP transmitted the claim to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which performed some searches and found that, despite a British address being mentioned, the seat of the company was actually based in Sweden. The ASA then transmitted the claim to the Reklamombusmannen in Sweden buy nothing could be done, because the company wasn’t recorded in the Company Register. This episode shows that such scam mailings are not naif: they hide a very complex organization".