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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

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.

Ping falls foul of Competition Law

A recent court case has highlighted the legal position regarding sales bans in the rapidly evolving world of consumer
technology and online sales.

Following an investigation into the sports equipment sector, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June 2016
stated the online sales ban imposed by Ping Europe Ltd, the European arm of the well-known golf club manufacturer, was in
breach of EU and UK competition law.

Casino Wins In Supreme Court Dispute

Phil Ivey, 10 times winner of the World Series Of Poker and one of the world’s best known professional gamblers, has
recently lost his bid to recover £7.7m in winnings from a game of Punto Banco (a Casino card game based on baccarat) that
took place in 2012 at Crockfords Club in London.

The Brexit effect – looming problems with patent and intellectual property law

German intellectual property lawyer Ingve Stjerna has succeeded in a court action which effectively puts the European patent regime on hold, having described the UK’s desire to remain a member of the new system – the Unified Patent Court (UPC) - as ‘astonishing’.

Contracts, Business and Alcohol – not always a good mix

Mike Ashley, Sports Direct boss and owner of Newcastle United football club, emerged victorious from a recent £15m High Court case over an alleged deal made in a pub.

Investment banker Jeffrey Blue claimed that he and Ashley had agreed a verbal contract which would see Blue be entitled to a bonus based on the share price performance of retail giant Sports Direct.  Whilst Ashley admitted to making the offer, the very nature of the meeting, its setting (in a Pub) and the large amount of alcohol consumed, meant that it was quite clear that he wasn’t being serious.

F1 celebrity Eddie Jordan to pay indemnity costs

The recent High Court ruling in the phone hacking related case Jordan v MGN Ltd has highlighted the importance of making serious attempts to settle a case as early as possible in the action.

Jordan , 69, a former F1 team boss and current Channel 4 pundit, was involved in  the careers of many F1 World Champions including Michael Schumacher & Damon Hill.

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Latest News

  • A recent costs hearing at the High Court in London has revealed the extent of the legal costs already accumulated in the high-profile Bates v Post Office litigation action. The class action claim, backed by litigation funders Therium Capital, involves over 500 former subpostmasters and mistresses who are claiming that the Post Office, following the implementation of a new IT system called ‘Horizon’, incorrectly blamed them for apparent shortfalls in branch accounts. The hearing disclosed that costs on both sides have now topped £35m, prompting Mr Justice Fraser to comment that some costs incurred seemed ‘excessive’. The barristers representing the claimants, Henderson Chambers, argued that the Post Office has spent more than the 555 claimants, citing a figure of £19.5m compared with £16.828m. They also pointed out that the Post Office has employed two law firms and as a result is instructing... Read More

  • Multiple European champions and current Premier League frontrunners Liverpool FC have emerged victorious in a recent contract dispute and are now free to use global sportswear giant Nike as their new supplier of official team kit. Liverpool has been provided with team and club kit by manufacturer New Balance since 2012. The recent judgment ends a dispute that had culminated in a 3 day hearing as New Balance attempted to maintain their lucrative contract with the club. The Boston-based manufacturer were extremely keen to retain their relationship with a club which, as well as being one of soccer’s most recognised brands on a global scale, is also currently performing well on the pitch. When it became clear that the club were interested in a new kit contract with Nike, New Balance tried force the activation of a renewal clause in their contract... Read More

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