The stand-out decision in August was the UK Supreme Court’s ruling in the Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei/ZTE cases. In a unanimous judgment, the five judges dismissed the appeals and upheld both the lower court decisions. The decision affirms the UK courts’ ability to hear, and resolve, disputes over the licensing of standard-essential patents, addressing in detail five issues: jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, non-discrimination, abuse of dominant position and appropriate remedy.
In other developments over the past month, the High Court refused an application for summary judgment or an interim declaration in Shenzhen Carku Technology Co Ltd v The Noco Company, a case concerning a patent for an apparatus for jump starting a vehicle with a depleted or discharged battery.
There have been two trade mark cases of note. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v Premier Alloy Wheels (UK) Ltd & Ors concerned trade mark infringement, passing off and design infringement in a dispute over vehicle wheels. Much of the judgment focused on the liability of the five related defendants (two companies and three individuals). In Jaguar Land Rover Ltd (JLR) v Ineos Industries Holdings Ltd, a decision by the UK IPO Hearing Officer to refuse trade mark applications to register the shapes of the Land Rover Defender 90 and Land Rover Defender 110 motor vehicles was upheld.
In an interim judgment in the ongoing litigation between the Duchess of Sussex and Associated Newspapers regarding articles published in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, Mr Justice Warby granted an order to confer protection on the identify of five media sources. The judgment addresses the balance between open justice and protection of confidential information.
Finally, ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK and EU held the seventh round of negotiations on the future partnership in Brussels from 18 to 21 August. Following the negotiations, both sides issued an update on the topics discussed, but noted that agreement was still a long way off.
The IP/IT Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.