Commercial Litigation UK

  • February 22, 2024

    Sony Loses Bid To Stop Hendrix Bandmates' Copyright Trial

    Sony Music lost another attempt on Thursday to avoid facing a copyright challenge in England over music royalties from Jimi Hendrix's band, with a London judge saying the estates of his bandmates have an arguable case over IP rights for music streaming services.

  • February 22, 2024

    Britvic Sues Slushie Machine Biz Over Tango Ice Blast TM

    Soft drinks giant Britvic has sued a U.K. slushie machine business for allegedly infringing the copyright for its Tango Ice Blast drinks by mimicking the branding for its own drinks machines.

  • February 22, 2024

    Cypriot Companies Can't Halt Halloumi Registration

    A group of cheese-makers have failed to prevent the registration of "Halloumi" as a protected designation of origin, with a European court ruling that the application did not depart from previous national standards about its ingredients.

  • February 22, 2024

    Amy Winehouse's Friends Deny Selling Her Personal Items

    Two "very close friends" of Amy Winehouse have denied putting the property of the dead singer up for auction in their names, telling a London court that the £732,000 ($924,000) claim by her father does not show that the pieces belong to him.

  • February 22, 2024

    ECJ Told Personal Data Can Be Sold In Enforcement Cases

    An adviser to the EU's top court wrote Thursday that selling a database containing personal information without the subjects' consent does not breach the bloc's privacy rules if it's carried out in the context of enforcement proceedings.

  • February 22, 2024

    I'm Victim Of Morgan Stanley's Abuse, Ex-Frasers CEO Says

    Former Frasers chief executive Mike Ashley told a London court on Thursday that he was "a victim of Morgan Stanley's abuse" as he claims that the bank was motivated by "snobbery" when it hit the retail group with a margin call of almost $1 billion.

  • February 22, 2024

    Malta's Used Car Tax Breaches Law, Top EU Court Rules

    Malta is breaking EU law when it charges a higher annual tax for used cars bought in other countries in the bloc and brought to the island state, the European Court of Justice said in a judgment issued Thursday. 

  • February 22, 2024

    L'Oréal Scrubs Out Rival's 'Libre' TM Appeal At EU Court

    L'Oréal has persuaded a European Union court to throw out a competitor's latest attempt to register its "La Crème Libre" trademark, with the court ruling that consumers could confuse it with the French cosmetic giant's own "libre" sign.

  • February 22, 2024

    Argentina Must Pay Upfront In €1.3B Payment Challenge

    Argentina must make an upfront payment if it wants to challenge a ruling forcing it to pay out €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) to bondholders for wrongly adjusting the way it calculates yields for government securities, an appeals court ruled Thursday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Morgan Stanley Accused Of 'Snobbery' Over $1B Margin Call

    Frasers Group told a London court Wednesday that Morgan Stanley hit it with an almost $1 billion margin call to force the British retailer off its books out of "snobbery" because it viewed Frasers' CEO as "an upstart."

  • February 21, 2024

    Face Mask May Have Triggered PTSD, Tribunal Rules

    A school technician has revived his disability discrimination case after an appellate panel ruled in a decision published Wednesday there was proof to back up his concerns that being forced to wear a face mask during the pandemic would trigger his post-traumatic stress disorder. 

  • February 21, 2024

    Lidl Tackles 'Bad Faith' TM Claims In Tesco Clubcard Spat

    Counsel for Lidl argued on Wednesday that a London court was wrong to rule that the German retailer had registered a trademark for a wordless variant of its logo in bad faith, as intellectual property lawyers await further guidance from the U.K.'s top court.

  • February 21, 2024

    Oxford University Academics Win Employee Status Challenge

    Two University of Oxford academics count as having been employed by the institution even though it hired them on temporary contracts designed to dodge an employer-employee relationship, a tribunal ruled in a decision made public Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    End Of The Line For Cable-Laying Machine Patent Dispute

    A European patent board has revoked an Italian infrastructure company's protections for a cable-laying machine, concluding that it was obvious and others would have eventually figured out how to make it.

  • February 21, 2024

    Ex-Linklaters Atty Owes Saudi Royal $25M Over Missing Fund

    A former Linklaters LLP partner must pay at least $25 million after failing to return an investment fund to a Saudi princess, a London judge ruled Wednesday — but the final bill could reach nearly $40 million.

  • February 21, 2024

    Temp Workers Entitled To Dismissal Reasons, ECJ Rules

    When employers fire temporary workers they must tell them why, because not doing so could prevent them from legally challenging their dismissal, The European Union's top court said Tuesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Pitmans Can't Strike Out Negligent Pension Advice Claim

    Pitmans Solicitors, BDB Pitmans' predecessor, has failed to strike out allegations that it gave former clients negligent advice on a pension scheme, after a London court found Wednesday that it is "clearly in the interests of justice" that the case proceed against it.

  • February 21, 2024

    Distiller's Amazonian TM Fails To Swing EU Court On Appeal

    A Spanish distiller lost his bid on Wednesday to register a trademark for "Amazonian Gin Co.," when a European court ruled that the mark was too descriptive of the origins and ingredients of the product.

  • February 21, 2024

    Patent Plausibility Faces Uncertain Future At The EPO

    A landmark decision by the European Patent Office to allow evidence submitted after filing a patent application to be used to prove whether a patent is "plausible" has left many questions unanswered. Here, lawyers in the IP sector look for those answers.

  • February 21, 2024

    Revised UK Gov't Climate Plan Is Unlawful, Campaigners Say

    Three campaign groups argued at a London court on Wednesday that a revised government plan to cut back greenhouse emissions is unlawful and will violate Britain's climate obligations.

  • February 21, 2024

    Addison Lee Settles With Lead Claimants In Drivers' Claim

    Minicab giant Addison Lee has settled a long-running dispute with its drivers over their status as workers and their related employee protections such as holiday pay and minimum wage, with lawyers for the drivers hailing the settlement on Wednesday as a win for gig economy workers.

  • February 21, 2024

    Royal Parks Fights Contractor-Staff Comparison In Pay Appeal

    Britain's Royal Parks argued Wednesday that contracted cleaners cannot compare themselves with its directly employed staff, as it fought the contractors' case in the Court of Appeal that their lower rate of pay amounted to race discrimination.

  • February 21, 2024

    Satoshi Associates Deny Wright's Claim To Be Bitcoin Creator

    Two cryptocurrency specialists who had interactions with the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin in the 2000s told a London court on Wednesday that they do not believe Craig Wright's claims to be the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • February 21, 2024

    Financial Adviser Sues Law Firm For Ex-Director's Legal Fees

    Financial services business Gallium has claimed a law firm failed to question why it paid £673,000 ($850,000) in legal fees for its ex-director "in his personal capacity" during a dispute with another shareholder.

  • February 20, 2024

    Dutch Court Rejects Russia's Appeal Of $50B Yukos Awards

    Russia on Tuesday lost its last-ditch appeal to overturn $50 billion in arbitral awards issued a decade ago to former shareholders of Yukos Oil Co., once the country's largest oil company, after it was seized by the Kremlin amid allegations of allegedly phony tax debts.

Expert Analysis

  • AI Inventorship Patent Options After UK Supreme Court Ruling

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    The U.K. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Thaler v. Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks that an AI system cannot be an inventor raises questions about alternative approaches to patent protection for AI-generated inventions and how the decision might affect infringement and validity disputes around such patents, says David Knight at Brown Rudnick.

  • Ruling Elucidates Tensions In Assessing Employee Disability

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    An employment tribunal's recent decision, maintaining that dermatitis was not a disability, but stress was, illustrates tensions in the interaction between statutory guidance on reasonable behavior modifications and Equality Act measures, says Suzanne Nulty at Weightmans.

  • What Extending Corporate Liability Will Mean For Foreign Cos.

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    Certain sections of the Economic Crime Act enacted in December 2023 make it easier to prosecute companies for economic crimes committed abroad, and organizations need to consider their exposure and the new ways they can be held liable for the actions of their personnel, say Dan Hudson at Seladore Legal and Christopher Coltart at 2 Hare Court.

  • Cos. Should Weave Metaverse Considerations Into IP Strategy

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    In light of the increasing importance of intellectual property protection in digital contexts, including a growing number of court rulings and recent updates to the classification of digital assets, companies should include the metaverse as part of their trademark strategy to prevent potential infringements, says Gabriele Engels at D Young & Co.

  • ECJ Ruling Triggers Reconsiderations Of Using AI In Hiring

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    A recent European Court of Justice ruling, clarifying that the General Data Protection Regulation could apply to decisions made by artificial intelligence, serves as a warning to employers, as the use of AI in recruitment may lead to more discrimination claims, say Dino Wilkinson and James Major at Clyde & Co.

  • Economic Crime Act Offers Welcome Reform To AML Regime

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    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act exemption for mixed-property transactions that came into force on Jan. 15 as part of the U.K.'s anti-money laundering regime is long overdue, and should end economic harm to businesses, giving banks confidence to adopt a more pragmatic approach, say Matthew Getz and Joseph Fox-Davies at Pallas Partners.

  • What Venice Swaps Ruling Says About Foreign Law Disputes

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    The English appeals court's decision in Banca Intesa v. Venice that the English law swaps are valid and enforceable will be welcomed by banks, and it provides valuable commentary on the English courts' approach toward the interpretation of foreign law, say Harriet Campbell and Richard Marshall at Penningtons Manches.

  • Key Litigation Funding Rulings Will Drive Reform In 2024

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    Ground-breaking judgments on disputes funding and fee arrangements from 2023 — including that litigation funding agreements could be damages-based agreements, rendering them unenforceable — will bring legislative changes in 2024, which could have a substantial impact on litigation risk for several sectors, say Verity Jackson-Grant and David Bridge at Simmons & Simmons.

  • How Data Privacy Law Cases Are Evolving In UK, EU And US

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    To see where the law is heading in 2024, it is worth looking at privacy litigation and enforcement trends from last year, where we saw a focus on General Data Protection Regulation regulatory enforcement actions in the U.K. and EU, and class actions brought by private plaintiffs in the U.S., say lawyers at Morgan Lewis.

  • Misleading Airline Ads Offer Lessons To Avoid Greenwashing

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    Following the Advertising Standards Authority's recent decision that three airlines' adverts misled customers about their environmental impact, companies should ensure that their green claims comply with legal standards to avoid risking reputational damage, which could have financial repercussions, say Elaina Bailes and Olivia Shaw at Stewarts.

  • Supreme Court Ruling Is A Gift To Insolvency Practitioners

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    As corporate criminal liability is in sharp focus, the Supreme Court's recent decision in Palmer v. Northern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court that administrators are not company officers and should not be held liable under U.K. labor law is instructive in focusing on the substance and not merely the title of a person's role within a company, say lawyers at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Major EU AI Banking Ruling Will Reverberate Across Sectors

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    Following the European Court of Justice's recent OQ v. Land Hessen decision that banks' use of AI-driven credit scores to make consumer decisions did not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, regulators indicated that the ruling would apply broadly, leaving numerous industries that employ AI-powered decisions open to scrutiny, say lawyers at Alston & Bird.

  • English Could Be The Future Language Of The UPC

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    While most Unified Patent Court proceedings are currently held in German, the recent decisions in Plant-e v. Arkyne and Amgen v. Sanofi potentially signal that English will be the preferred language, particularly in cases involving small and medium enterprises, say lawyers at Freshfields.

  • Arbitration Remains Attractive For Digital Disputes In 2024

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    Recent regulatory and digital forum developments highlight that, in 2024, arbitration will continue to adapt to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency, and remain an attractive forum for resolving digital disputes due to its flexibility, confidentiality and comparative ease to enforce cross-border awards, says Peter Smith at Charles Russell.

  • Key Employer Lessons From 2023 Neurodiversity Case Uptick

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    The rise in neurodiversity cases in U.K. employment tribunals last year emphasizes the growing need for robust occupational health support, and that employers must acknowledge and adjust for individuals with disabilities in their workplaces to ensure compliance and foster a neurodiverse-friendly work environment, says Emily Cox at Womble Bond.

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