One of the niche areas of expertise covered by the dispute resolution team relates to intellectual property claims, primarily copyright, design right, trademark infringement and passing off. Richard Cook has over 25 years' experience of dealing with claims of this nature.
Recent examples of cases handled include:
- acting for a leading West End hotel in a claim about their use of a particular name for a new restaurant connected with the hotel.
- acting for a leading furniture designer in claims bought by him against a business who infringed his design rights in various furniture ranges.
- acting for a manufacturer of industrial equipment who sought to incorporate companies with similar names to another manufacturer.
- acting for a computer manufacturer in a claim by Microsoft over infringement of copyright through the alleged non-licencing of products.
Our main objective when dealing with intellectual property claims is to try and resolve them early given that costs can soon become disproportionate to the amount in issue, which in many cases may be limited to a reasonable licence fee, as opposed to substantial damages. This involves identifying at the earliest stage whether any infringement has in fact taken place and/or the risk that the court could come to that conclusion, so as to advise clients from the earliest possible moment whether the case is one that is worth pursuing or defending.
We also have related expertise in IT disputes involving computer software systems which, besides raising intellectual property issues, can also raise contractual issues such as whether the software is fit for purpose and/or of satisfactory quality.
We recently acted in a substantial technology and construction court litigation between our client Kingsway Hall Hotel Limited v RedSky IT (Hounslow) Limited, an 11 day case which involved complicated issues of a software’s suitability for use in a busy London hotel. The case concluded with a successful finding in our client’s favour. This case has subsequently been reported because it raised a number of important legal issues, such as the applicability in these situations of exclusion and limitation of liability clauses.
Richard Cook is ranked in Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading individual for his commercial litigation expertise and is the person to contact in relation to claims of this nature.