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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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A new EU insolvency regime, hoped to "rescue and recover" viable businesses facing cross-border financial difficulties, has been backed by justice ministers throughout the EU. The Regulation must be formally adopted by, both the European Council and Parliament, before coming into force.

The new Insolvency Regulation is expected to come into force in 2017, and would replace the current regime - which has been in place since May 2002 - with a modern and "rescue orientated" approach. The new rules also aim to reinforce the single market while recovering from the financial crisis.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) Patent Opinions Service has been in place since 2005 to offer opinions on the validity of patents, and whether any patent infringes UK and EP(UK) patents. Opinions cost £200 and are non-binding in nature, but can assist in dispute resolution prior to litigation. But where litigation is unavoidable, opinions from the Patent Opinions Service can still be useful in helping parties in their case.

However, as of 1 October 2014, the UKIPO has had the power to revoke a patent of its own initiative, if the Patent Opinions Service finds it is not new and/or inventive, where previously it would be up to a third party to begin revocation proceedings, which can be costly and time consuming.

According to research by insolvency trade body R3, the number of informal corporate insolvency procedures in the UK has jumped from 139,594 in 2010-2011, to 178,996 in 2013-2014, a 28 per cent rise.

Being informally "struck off" is used by companies who have ceased doing business and have settled any debts, and have become dormant or are no longer trading.

In Cartier International and Others v BSkyB and others, the High Court in England, has held that trademark holders can be granted injunctions against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block or impede certain websites selling counterfeit goods.

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The so-called "zombie business" - a term used to describe businesses only just surviving despite being in a financially difficult situation - is on the rise according to a survey of 500 UK businesses conducted by insolvency trade body R3.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has recently handed down its full opinion in Case C-201/13 Deckmyn, and in doing so has not only defined what constitutes a parody, but has also given copyright owners the right to demand their material be disassociated with a work of parody in certain circumstances.

Despite a warning from the Insolvency Service showing insolvencies are on the rise for the first time since 2010 - a 5.1 per cent increase from the previous year - the Bank of England Governor has announced that he is preparing to increase interest rates.  

"Neither Party shall be liable to the other under this Sub-Contract for loss of profits, revenue, business, goodwill, indirect or consequential loss or damage."

Above is the clear and unambiguous liability exclusion clause, found in a ten-year sub-contract between IBM and Fujitsu, whereby Fujitsu agreed to provide management, support and IT infrastructure maintenance as and when needed, to fulfill the IT and business process change service needs of the DVLA - who held the main commercial contract with IBM.

On 1st October a new Intellectual Property Act, that seeks to strengthen intellectual property protection for businesses across the United Kingdom, comes into force.

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 was deemed necessary and subsequently drafted following the 2011 Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, which found the UK’s intellectual property (IP) laws currently in place to be inadequate and inaccessible to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

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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

  • 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. The advantage with using a good debt collection agency is that as well as this being their area of expertise, it also keeps the debt problem at ‘arm’s length’ from your own business and may be the best way forward should you also want to maintain good commercial relationships with the debtor. It is important that you take time to choose your debt collection agency carefully to ensure you receive the appropriate level of service you require to solve your business debt problems. Our top tips when choosing a debt collection agency... Read More