Sir Terence Etherton to be next Master of the Rolls

Sir Terence Etherton
The IPKat is indefatigable in scouring news sources for information about developments relating to IP law.  However, it is his first time, he thinks, to cite Pink News as the source for the identity of the next Master of the Rolls, to replace Lord Dyson in October 2016.  The Master of the Rolls is the head of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, and this rol[l]e is to be assumed by Sir Terence Etherton, currently Chancellor of the High Court (head of the Chancery Division, of which the Patents Court is a part).  Sir Terence was the first out gay senior judge in the UK, and so this Kat hopes that IP Inclusive and IP Out will be as thrilled as he is at the news.

Although he never sat in the Patents Court, Sir Terence has an impressive record of IP-related decisions, many (possibly all?) of which have been lovingly reported here on the IPKat.  Highlights include:

  • Lambretta v Teddy Smith, where Etherton J in the High Court ruled that there was no design right or copyright in the colourways of a track top
  • Jacobson & Sons v Globe GB was a trade mark case relating to the flash on the side of Gola shoes - the registrations were held by Etherton J to be valid and infringed
  • In Cook Biotech Incorporated v Edwards Lifesciences AG, Etherton LJ in the Court of Appeal gave the leading judgment rejecting the appeal and affirming the first instance decision of Kitchin J that Cook's patent for an artificial heart valve was invalid and not infringed
  • In Microsoft v Motorola Etherton LJ again gave the leading judgment, upholding Arnold J and finding Motorola's patent relating to synchronisation of message statuses across multiple messaging devices invalid
  • Etherton LJ also gave the leading judgment in rejecting Lundbeck's request (in their dispute against Resolution relating to escitalopram) that Arnold J recuse himself on the grounds that one of the expert witnesses had been the supervisor of his undergraduate chemistry research project at Oxford University
  • In Generics v Yeda, on an aspect of the case relating to professional conflict for in-house lawyers, Ward L.J. had to adjudicate between what he called "the characteristically forceful common sense judgment of Sir Robin Jacob" and "the characteristically erudite judgment of Etherton L.J."  The former advocated a strict application of a conflict rule for in-house lawyers, the latter a more relaxed one.  Erudition and Sir Terence won the day.
  • Turning his had to copyright, Etherton LJ gave the leading judgment in  Football Association Premier League v QC Leisure, allowing the use of foreign decoding devices in pubs in this country.
  • [Update 28 May 2016] A kind reader has pointed out that I omitted the procedural trade mark case Starbucks v British Sky Broadcasting / EMI v British Sky Broadcasting, reported by the IPKat here,  which created the "Alicante Torpedo" in English law - if you receive a cease & desist, quickly file invalidity proceedings at the EUIPO, and the English proceedings must be stayed.  This may not necessarily be regarded as a good thing...
Sir Terence has also sat giving concurring judgments in a number of other IP cases. This Kat is delighted to see a judge with such diverse experience in all areas of intellectual property as the head of the civil judiciary in England and Wales, and congratulates Sir Terence on his appointment.
Sir Terence Etherton to be next Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton to be next Master of the Rolls Reviewed by Darren Smyth on Friday, May 27, 2016 Rating: 5

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