Monday miscellany

Frankly speaking. In these days of balance, proportionality, being fair to the losers and all sorts of softly-softly treatment of rogue litigants, it's good to see the occasional perpetual injunction flying around. Last month's order by Mr Justice Newey in The Hedgehog Golf Company Ltd v Frank Hauser [2011] EWHC 689 (Ch), in the Chancery Division for England and Wales, was one such instance. After earlier proceedings for breach of confidence in which interim injunctive relief was granted, it became apparent that Frank Hauser, a director of Hedgehog, would not well disposed towards the company if he ceased to be a director of it and that he was fully prepared to destroy it by whatever means were necessary, even if it meant assisting a party -- Masters Golf Company -- which Hedgehog was currently suing for patent infringement and also breaching the interim injunction. There's a nice little snippet of dialogue here which might just have influenced the court's decision to make injunctive relief perpetual:
"THE JUDGE: Are you willing to go as far as saying that if after you cease to be director, you want to approach manufacturers, you will not use any specialist knowledge acquired as a director of the company?
MR HAUSER: No, I am not in any way at all prepared. I think I have been harshly treated on this whole matter, and I will protect my own interests in the future as I see fit. …  As a director of the company I am prepared to do all I can, as I have always done, for the company. The case that is being prepared at the moment against the Masters Golf Company, is the Hedgehog Golf Company against the Masters Golf Company, and I will take that to the nth degree as a director of the company, and fight till I die, for that to succeed …. But if I am not a director of the company, then all that is wrong, as far as I am concerned. The whole thing changes.

THE JUDGE: … Just to try and create some sort of civilised order, would you be prepared to undertake not to do anything after your directorship ceases, say for a period of seven days, so that if any application or injunction is going to be made, there is not an unseemly rush, you get proper notice, you have a chance of putting in evidence, and so on. That would be procedurally helpful, but I cannot force you to do that.
MR HAUSER: No, I don't think I would. No."
Frank by name, Frank by nature, the IPKat says.  But not perfectly Frank? ponders Merpel.

If you are at a loose end this August and fancy a pleasantly social way of polishing up your intellectual policy skills in idyllic surroundings, have you thought of attending this year's Intellectual Property Law Summer School, run by IBC Legal and now in its eleventh year? The course runs from 15 to 19 August in the lovely, leafy venue of Downing College, Cambridge. The course is targeted at "newly qualified and junior solicitors, trainee solicitors due to qualify into IP departments, junior barristers, commercial counsel, IP counsel, trade mark and patent lawyers needing a broader IP outlook, senior lawyers" and indeed anyone else who can be persuaded to part with the registration fee.  IPKat team member speaks on the first day, but the rest of the programme is perfectly respectable.  New features this year include special focuses on the internet and China patents. Details and registration can be accessed here.

Around the blogs.  The IPKat is delighted to welcome another new boy on the blogosphere. OUP author, scholar and IP contract wizard Mark Anderson (Anderson & Co) has just gone public on IP Draughts, a blog devoted to intellectual property contracts and business law. This blog looks a sure winner: you can check it out here.  Meanwhile, PatLit has finally reached the happy stage of having secured its 800th email subscriber.  IP Finance carries another thoughtful piece by fellow Kat Neil J. Wilkof, "Premium Brands and Private Label Products: The Inflation Challenge", definitely worth a look here.

The IPKat is aware of the new British Standard -- the BS 8538 Specification for the provision of services relating to intellectual property rights -- which purports to set out for the first time "good practice and principals [principles?] of ethical behaviour for organisations providing services to inventors".  It's just that he has been chasing too many exciting projects and just hasn't had time to chase this one too.  You can follow this link for further comment.  If anyone wants to review the Standard, this blog will be delighted to host any sensible appraisal of it.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, April 11, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. I would be happy to review BS 8538:2011, if you provide me with a review copy.

    Best wishes,

    George Brock-Nannestad

  2. There's the rub. Having sent in comments on the draft British Standard, I would like to see the final version, but I don't wish to pay £150 (or whatever the price is) for the privilege. I did ask BSI for a review copy, but they declined. :-(

    Perhaps you may have better luck as you are planning to write a review.

  3. I also decided not to fork out the £150, especially as my understanding is that the standard is not really addressed to Patent Attorneys and the like. The IPO's booklet "Choosing the right IP advisor"
    has this to say about the standard:

    The standard is voluntary and can be confirmed by self-assessment or by second party assessment – for example an internal audit; BSI and the IPO do not carry out checks.
    If an adviser claims conformity to this standard and an individual disagrees action can be taken through the Trading Standards Institute.

  4. @Mark Anderson (and Jeremy): my previous comment was rather toungue-in-cheek: it is "only" £130, but one may become a member and only pay £65. However, even that is too much to pay for academic curiosity. Maybe it will become available on YouTube once it has been made into a film.

    Kind regards,

    George Brock-Nannestad


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