Bringing you regular news of key developments in intellectual property law.

GENERAL IP

New Wave CZ, a.s. v Alltoys, spol. S.r.o., CJEU, 18 January 2017

The CJEU has held that the right of an IP right holder to obtain information about the infringer’s activities need not be exercised in the main infringement proceedings and can be exercised in a separate claim, despite ambiguous wording in certain national implementing legislation.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

PASSING OFF

Bhayani & Anor v Taylor Bracewell LLP [2016] EWHC 3360 (IPEC)

Following a summary judgment application, the IP Enterprise Court has held that a solicitor’s reputation does not amount to goodwill to form the basis of a passing off claim. The Court held that there was no reason to depart from the general rule that goodwill generated by employees in the course of their employment vests in the employer and, likewise, goodwill generated in the course of duties carried out within a partnership vests in the partnership. The Court noted, however, that this is not necessarily the case for writers or performers due to the way in which their business is conducted and perceived by the public.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

PATENTS

Shanks v Unilever Plc and others [2017] EWCA Civ 2

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the High Court relating to a case which originally began in 2006. The Court held that an invention made by the Claimant during the course of his employment was not of “outstanding benefit” to his employer (under section 40 of the Patents Act 1977). The Claimant was therefore not entitled to statutory compensation and the appeal was dismissed. The Court declined to give a view on what amount of compensation would have been appropriate had an alternative decision been reached.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

TRADE MARKS

Hummel Holding A/S v Nike Inc and Nike Retail Case C-617/15

The Advocate General has given his opinion, in a case involving the infringement of an EU trade mark, regarding the question of when a non-EU domiciled defendant can be deemed to have an “establishment” in an EU member state for the purposes of Article 97 of Regulation 207/2009.

He has supported a broad interpretation of “establishment” to be “a centre of operations which, in the Member State where it is situated, has the appearance of permanency, such as an extension of the third State parent body”. This would, as in the present case, potentially capture a second-tier subsidiary.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.