Patent Application. The claimant, Glaxosmithkline, appealed against the decision of the deputy director of the UK intellectual property office, acting on behalf of the defendant Comptroller of patents, designs and trade marks, refusing to grant it a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for an oil in water emulsion adjuvant system, known as ASO3, and for an influenza vaccine. An issue arose as to the interpretation of art1(b) of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) 469-2009 (on the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products) as to the meaning of 'active ingredient'. The Chancery Division, Patents Court, referred questions to the European Court of Justice but expressed the view that it preferred the argument presented on behalf of the Comptroller.
Sale of goods Breach of contract. The claimant sellers agreed to sell a vessel to the defendant buyer. The buyer failed to pay a deposit within time stipulated by the contract. The sellers treated the contract as being repudiated and sought to recover the deposit as a debt. The arbitration tribunal held that the sellers were not entitled to recover the deposit. In allowing the sellers' appeal, the Commercial Court held that, on its true construction, a memorandum of agreement between the parties had conferred a contractual right on the sellers to accept a repudiation of the contract and provided that the sellers might recover the amount of the deposit in any event.
Trade mark Infringement. The Patents County Court considered an action for passing off brought by the claimant shoe making company. It claimed that the defendant company had made use of its device, a fox and boot, in the selling of its own shoes. The court held that, on the evidence, passing off had occurred, and no defence of concurrent goodwill would be available to the defendant.
European Union Telecommunications. The Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of arts 3 and 12 to 14 of Council Directive (EC) 2002-20 (on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services) (the Authorisation Directive). The request had been made in proceedings between Belgacom SA, Mobistar SA and KPN Group Belgium SA, on the one hand, and Belgium, on the other, concerning the conformity of fees due by those mobile telephone operators under arts 2 and 3 of the Belgium Law of 15 March 2010, amending art 30 of the Belgium Law of 13 June 2005, (on electronic communications with the fee scheme provided for by the Authorisation Directive).
European Union Consumer protection. The Court of Justice of the European Union made a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of arts 1(2), 3 and 5 of and point 1(j) and the second indent of point 2(b) of the annex to Council Directive (EEC) 93-13 (on unfair terms in consumer contracts) and art 3(3) of and points (b) and (c) of Annex A to Council Directive (EC) 2003-55 (concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas) and repealing Council Directive (EC) 98-30. The request had been made in proceedings between RWE Vertrieb AG (RWE) and a German consumer association concerning the use by RWE of allegedly unfair terms in consumer contracts.
Conflict of laws Foreign judgment. The claimant wife and first defendant husband had divorced in Israel. The wife had two judgments in her favour stating that a property in London registered in the husband's name was held by him on trust jointly for himself and the wife in equal shares. The husband's brother had two legal charges against the property which the wife challenged. The High Court held that the Israeli judgments were entitled to recognition only in relation to proceedings between the husband and wife and that, as against the brother, the wife had not established any beneficial interest. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld the decision for the reasons given by the High Court.
Sentence Confiscation order. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division allowed the prosecution's appeal in circumstances where a judge had stayed a confiscation process pursuant to the because, amongst other things, the judge was unhappy with the effect the confiscation order sought would have on the defendants
Power of attorney Enduring power of attorney. The claimant in both appeals, AD, was the carer for MA, a famous composer, for 22 years. Following MA's death, disputes arose regarding cash gifts made to AD and the ownership of MA's manuscripts of his compositions. The Chancery Division held, inter alia, that there had been no impropriety surrounding the cash gifts, that a number of manuscripts had not been given to MA's children, but that all of MA's manuscripts had been given to AD during MA's lifetime. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the children's appeal in respect of the gift of some manuscripts, but dismissed the appeals in respect of the cash gifts and the gift of manuscripts to AD. The Court also allowed AD's cross-appeal in respect of the effect of cl6 of MA's will, holding that it would have been effective to give MA's manuscripts to AD.
*El Corte Ingles, SA v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade and Designs) (OHIM) and another
European Union Trade marks. The General Court of the European Union (the General Court) held, in proceedings brought by El Corte Ingles against the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) concerning an application for registration of the word sign 'CLUB GOURMET' as a Community trade mark that the Board of Appeal of OHIM had not erred in finding that the opposition had to be rejected.
European Union Trade marks. The General Court of the European Union dismissed the action by Bimbo SA brought against the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) concerning an application for registration of the word sign 'Caffe KIMBO' as a Community trade mark.