1 Browned off, at no cost

In Locksley Brown v MCASSO Music Productions Ltd (noted so far only on the All England Direct service) a two-man Court of Appeal consisting of Lords Justices Scott Baker and Neuberger yesterday overturned a decision of Judge Michael Fysh QC on costs in a rather messy copyright dispute.

Brown sued Mcasso in the Patents County Court for copyright infringement regarding the lyrics in a rap song, "Mr High Roller". Although the case was allocated to the fast track, substantial argument erupted as to whether Brown owned the copyright exclusively or only as a joint owner. Finding that Brown owned a 10& share in the copyright, he awarded him just £180 of his own costs but made him pay Mcasso's too. In his opinion the the costs order in favour of Mcasso as justified since Brown refused to accept two offers by Mcasso to settle the action and also refused mediation. Mcasso then handed Brown a £52,000 costs bill. Brown appealed on the costs issue, arguing that the judge erred in considering the matters that were irrelevant to the issue of liability and had overlooked the fact that the case had been allocated to the fast track.

The Court of Appeal allowed Brown's appeal. Judge Fysh had been entitled to consider Mcasso's first offer to settle the action on a limited basis only, but he was not entitled, on the basis of current authorities, to consider either the offer to mediate or the second offer to settle the action. Also, since this case was fast tracked, Mcasso's bill of costs was excessive. The right thing for the judge to have done was to make no order at all as to costs.

For the facts, click here and scroll down to Locksley Brown v Mcasso.
Visit Locksley Brown, the Lyrical Sultan, here (but when you get there, absolutely NO right-clicking ...)

2 Espacenet caves in to public demand

The IPKat's friend Barbara Cookson has sent him the following informative epistle:

Your readers may like to know that Espacenet has succumbed to overwhelming patent agent pressure and allowed you to download a full patent document. They say:
"We are pleased to announce that from the 4 November 2005, esp@cenet features full document printing and downloading.

We were concerned that full document downloads and printing might encourage gleeful esp@cenetters to start printing and downloading in earnest, and this might have put an intolerable strain on the system.

We are now satisfied that we have the right technical solution (users must assemble and collate the pages of a document before downloading it), and a screening system to discriminate against automated document retrieval in favour of humans (when requesting a download, users have to type in a graphically displayed keyword in response to a prompt)".
The less good news is that it worked perfectly on Windows 98 but not on XP professional. Barbara wonders how the IPKat will fare in its search for the full text of suitably catty patents.

The IPKat says, "His search, Barbara - not its search"; the Kat has not yet fallen under the veterinary scalpel. As for catty patents, how about these for starters? (Click here and here).

3 IAM Licensing supplement

Subscribers to Globe White Page's Intellectual Asset Management will be receiving their special supplement, "Licensing in the Boardroom 2005", if they've not already done so. It features 60 pages of fairly serious small print, taking in the effective settlement of patent litigation (through licensing, of course!), the need to exercise effective vigilance over licensees and the development of a strategy for licensing-in (this being an aspect of licensing that many IP owners forget about). All good stuff, of course.

Free trial of IAM here.


  1. In item 2, you give a couple of catty patents. The main claim of the second recites a "pet having a head end and tail end". This seems to imply that in the US, there are pets without head and tail ends, or even pets with a head end but no tail end (or vice versa). I'm almost afraid to ask if anyone can clarify the matter.

    Michael Harman

  2. The decision to provide multipage print-outs of Esp@cnet located documents is welcome. However the original refusal to enable this facility was political not technical. When the possibility of documents being downloaded without charge was first muted considerable lobbying was directed at the EPO from firms who were making a good living from selling such documents. However as the years passed the major users found software methods of bypassing the single page constraint and the handicap on mortals became intolerable.

  3. Patent no.2 is no better - a stool for stools...

  4. How could the IPKat have overlooked this cat-related patent?

    Here's a snippet calculated to whet the appetite of any red-blooded Kat:

    Abstract of US4150505

    A bird trap and cat feeder for catching birds and feeding the birds to a cat. The trap designed to catch birds the size of a sparrow while releasing smaller song birds, wrens, swallows, or the like. The feeder providing means for continuously supplying a cat or neighborhood cats with sparrows to eat.


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