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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

It’s an unfortunate fact of business life that at some point, you may need to take formal legal action to recover monies owed to you or your business. There are two main approaches to collecting such debts; direct legal action through the courts, or appointing an external debt collection agency.

There was a lot of coverage in the UK media back in March 2018 regarding the so called ‘great chicken crisis 2018’, where hundreds of KFC stores throughout the UK had to close because deliveries of chicken – the prime menu item on most KFC meals – failed to reach the stores. As most of these stores operate on a franchise basis, with the store owner being the franchisee and KFC being the franchisor, the question now being asked is can the stores be compensated for loss of earnings?

Hip hop and rap superstar Dr Dre has lost a recent trademark legal action in the US to a gynaecologist called Dr Drai.

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Martin Lewis, the brains behind popular consumer advice website ‘Moneysavingexpert.com’ and presenter of ITV’s ‘The Martin Lewis Money Show’, has recently issued proceedings in the High Court against internet and social media giant Facebook.

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In what is a sign of things to come for many elements of the civil justice system in the UK, earlier this month the first stage of the Ministry of Justice’s (MOJ) Online Court went live in beta / live test form. The new online system, which over time is set to replace the current, ageing Money Claims Online (MCOL) system, will allow members of the public to issue county court money claims up to £10,000 in value. MCOL will remain live during the beta test period. A spokesperson for the MOJ said that the new technology and scheme “begins to deliver the vision set out by Lord Briggs… where he called for claims worth up to £25,000 to be solved in an online court”.

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.

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Latest News

  • Following a recent High Court appeal judgement, infrastructure support services provider Amey are set to receive £4m in compensation from West Sussex County Council due to a disputed highways contract procurement process. The High Court heard that an original contract bid from Amey had collapsed due to errors in the criteria scoring process, leading to the interim contract and subsequent continuity appointment being awarded to rival bidders Balfour Beatty. West Sussex County Council applied to have Amey’s claim struck out, but this was rejected by Justice Stuart-Smith. The £4m payout came to light as part of the council’s draft budget proposals. The Cabinet will go through the proposed budget for 2020/21 before it goes before a meeting of the full council on February 14 for final approval. A council statement said: The budget report also identifies that money from reserves has been used... Read More

  • The contemporary UK litigation sector now allows for a variety of alternative options when it comes to resolving commercial, business and personal legal disputes. Known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’), it is worth being aware of the options available and which may be best suited for your individual circumstances. The three main types of Alternative Dispute Resolution are: Mediation As there is now a requirement for parties involved in most claim types to consider mediation, this process is now regarded as a necessary step for many cases, with judges making it a requirement for a party to indicate why they have refused to mediate. Mediation is essentially a simple process, designed to limit the costs involved in litigation and to reduce the number of claims that require valuable court time. Both sides produce a meditation statement and attend a mediation session. At these... Read More

  • As well as dominating the recent UK news agenda, it would seem that the new life that the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk are planning is already facing a potential legal battle over the ownership of their ‘Sussex Royal’ trademark. Whilst the ‘Sussex Royal’ brand and trademark has already been registered in the UK, within hours of the high-profile couple’s plans being confirmed recently, an application was filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that, if successful, would result in the applicant owning the ‘Sussex Royal’ trademark in all of the 23 EU-recognised languages. The EUIPO trademark request was in German, with English listed as its second language. The rapid filing covers a range of goods under the name of the couple’s website and Instagram feed, including luggage, toiletries, jewellery and beer. Whilst Harry and Meghan can lodge an objection... Read More