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Advantage Litigation News & Updates

From time to time we will post news articles and announcements relating to the firm and to various legal issues that may be of interest to you.

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Recent blog posts

A recent decision by the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg means that the four finger Kit Kat chocolate and biscuit bar is set to lose its protected trademark status, opening up the likelihood of ‘copy-cat Kit Kat’s’ from rival manufacturers. The ECJ’s advocate general advised judges to throw out manufacturer Nestle’s appeal, and whilst the advocate generals advice is not binding, it’s very likely that it will be followed.

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In what has been described as one of the largest contract update and re-drafting exercises in history, legal services provider Axiom is now able to provide an AI (artificial intelligence) based process designed specifically to help companies update over 7.5 million financial services agreements and contracts in the run-up to Brexit.

Andrew McCabe, the former FBI Deputy Director whose employment contract was recently terminated by USA’s Trump administration has managed to raise over $300,000 (over £200,000) to cover legal defence costs via the crowdfunding platform ‘GoFundMe’.

A recent announced by the IPO (the UK Intellectual Property Office) as confirmed that the UK has now finalised and ratified an agreement that will make it easier for the owners of intellectual property to register designs in multiple jurisdictions and territories, and for them to take appropriate legal action if required to protect such designs.

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A recent High Court case has made it clear that Litigants in Person (known as LiPS – private individuals who are representing themselves in Court) will not get special treatment when bringing a legal action in the UK.

Internet giant Google is embroiled in a second High Court case with another businessman demanding that articles concerning his criminal past are removed from the search engines search results.

Spring 2018 will see the launch of online digital courtrooms for UK claimants, with tax appeal tribunal cases set to be the first to be offered this option. For the first time, claimants and their solicitors will be offered the option of ‘attending’ a court hearing online, using secure audio & video links delivered via a standardised internet platform, as opposed to having to turn up in person.

Funding your commercial claim, be it for professional negligence, a contract dispute, insolvency or a shareholder dispute, is often a crucial part of you being able to pursue your case. Below is a list of the main factors in funding a claim:

Following a recent decline in the value of the luxury car market, former business partners Petro Levchenko and Karan Abbott are now facing an unedifying – and expensive - High Court battle to decide who is at fault for the losses their partnership incurred.

Having originally met each other in a London shisha bar, and with subsequent meetings at a string of fashionable London nightspots, Levchenko and Abbott originally agreed to form a business relationship that would combine Levchenko’s experience as a trader in digital currencies with Abbotts passion for the luxury and rare car market.

A property tribunal has heard how an elderly resident of a London high-rise with cladding similar to that used at Grenfell Tower has been hospitalised after he was told that he would have to pay his share of the estimated £2m cost of repairing and replacing the cladding.

Following his withdrawal from mediation talks to settle his claim against Lloyds Banking Group, TV star and entrepreneur Noel Edmonds has secured litigation funding in his pursuit of up to £60m compensation from the banking giant.

At a recent trial at California’s Federal court, internet sensation, inspiration for hundred’s of memes and merchandise success story Grumpy Cat has successfully sued a US coffee company over a breach in the agreed terms of image rights and usage.

Grumpy Cat – most famous for her permanently unhappy but comically doleful expression – was awarded $710,000 (equivalent to £500,000) in compensation, along with a nominal $1 for breach of contract against US coffee company Grenade.

As the UK moves steadily closer to March 2019’s formal exit from the European Union, it is important that businesses across all sectors and of all sizes understand the impact that Brexit may have on their intellectual property and trademarks, and to make necessary changes now to help mitigate against possible legal action and litigation in future. SME’s (Small and Medium size Entities) make up over 98% of the UK’s 5.7m private sector businesses, employing over 16m people and representing £1.9 trillion in turnover p/a. The main issues for SME’s to consider and address in the run-up to Brexit from an IP and trademark perspective include:

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Over the years here at Advantage Litigation Solutions, we have looked at many claims and counter claims involving patents and patent infringements. With the increasing importance of intellectual property and brand identity in our globalised business world, effective legal protection of a patent is extremely important.

Following a significant number of objections from within the legal profession in 2017, HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) chief executive Susan Acland-Hood has committed to re-introducing a range of pilot schemes to assess the impact of revised and more flexible court hours. This follows feedback on the original consultation in which it became clear that as desirable as it may be, the actual practicalities of extending court operating hours may mean the idea is abandoned altogether.

Recent data compiled by law firm RPC sheds an interesting light on the claims trends in the High Court. The data, covering the 12 months up till 31st march 2017, shows that the most frequent claimants using the High Court were from the Music and Professional Football sectors.

Fizzy drink giant Coca-Cola has recently been allowed to proceed with its EU trade mark application by the EU Intellectual Property Office (the EUIPO). This is the latest stage in a series of legal challenges against Mitico, a Syrian company that also produces soft drinks, mainly for the domestic and Middle-Eastern markets.

In amongst the recent flurry of political activity that resulted in last week’s phase 1 Brexit agreement, solicitors and law firms throughout the UK are generally pleased with the impact that the current direction of travel should have on UK law.

January 2018 will see the second reading in the House of Commons of the Homes (fitness for human habitation and liability for housing standards) bill, sponsored by Labour MP Karen Buck, who is also the chair of the parliamentary group on Legal Aid.

The Private Members bill, which is worked on by various housing specialists including Giles Peaker from Anthony Gold solicitors and Justin Bates from barristers Arden Chambers, is designed to ensure that landlords will have new legal obligations to repair or replace a range of hazards that pose a significant threat to the health and safety of their tenants.

In a conclusion reached earlier this year, the US Supreme Court, in the case Star Athletica LLC v Varsity Brands Inc, has stated that the ‘arrangement of colours, shapes, stripes and chevrons’ present on the cheerleader uniforms designed and manufactured by Varsity Brands are separable from the actual uniforms themselves and can therefore be protected under copyright law.

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Latest News

  • A recent decision by the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg means that the four finger Kit Kat chocolate and biscuit bar is set to lose its protected trademark status, opening up the likelihood of ‘copy-cat Kit Kat’s’ from rival manufacturers. The ECJ’s advocate general advised judges to throw out manufacturer Nestle’s appeal, and whilst the advocate generals advice is not binding, it’s very likely that it will be followed. The appeal failed on the basis that for EU trademark protection to apply, the item in question must be distinctively recognisable across all EU states. Although Nestle provided evidence that the four finger Kit Kat was significantly recognisable in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Sweden, this was not enough to maintain the protection. Nestle revealed during the appeal that between 1996 and 2007, it... Read More

  • In what has been described as one of the largest contract update and re-drafting exercises in history, legal services provider Axiom is now able to provide an AI (artificial intelligence) based process designed specifically to help companies update over 7.5 million financial services agreements and contracts in the run-up to Brexit. Read More

  • Andrew McCabe, the former FBI Deputy Director whose employment contract was recently terminated by USA’s Trump administration has managed to raise over $300,000 (over £200,000) to cover legal defence costs via the crowdfunding platform ‘GoFundMe’. Read More