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Inventions – employees

Prior to 2005, it was necessary for an employee/inventor to prove that the patent (not just the invention) was of ‘outstanding benefit’ to the employer in order to be able to claim compensation. But, since 2005 employees can claim if the patented invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’ to the employer.

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IP – threats

Businesses and individuals have been given new protection against groundless threats to bring legal action for infringing IP rights (patent, trade mark or design).

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Unquoted shares – valuation

A recent CA decision gives useful guidance on the valuation on unquoted minority shares.

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Trade secrets – employment

These days many small companies prefer to rely upon the law of ‘trade secrets’ rather than go to the expense and complexity of patents and trade marks (unless an item is clearly patentable).  

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EC competition – new joint ventures

The ECJ has held that the creation of a joint venture only requires competition filing and clearance from the EC if it will be a ‘fully functioning’ commercial entity. This is an important change. A JV will only be ‘full function’ if it is a fully functioning market operation (eg it conducts its own commercial policy; it operates independently with its own management running its day-to-day operations; it carries out activities that are more than merely one specific function for the parents of the JV; it is not bound by sales and purchase agreements to its parents).  

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Administration – statutory moratorium

There are three ways in which an insolvency administrator can be appointed: (i) by the court, (ii) by the holder of a qualifying floating charge, or (iii) by the company (or its directors). Note that as between a floating charge and the company, it is the floating charge holder who has priority in making an appointment of an administrator. Accordingly, if a company or its director wants to appoint an administrator they have to give five business days’ written notice of this ‘intention’ to any floating charge holder. That notice of intention then allows the floating charge holder the chance to exercise their right before the company or its directors.

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Debt – winding up

A company’s liquidator can potentially recover any of the company’s property that is transferred after the date on which a winding-up petition is issued. Section 127 IA 1986 makes any disposition of property (eg money) void if it is done after the issue of the winding-up petition.

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Exclusion clause – ‘business common sense’

Ove Arup gave advice on a development site, including advice on asbestos contamination. After purchase, substantial asbestos was found and the developer sued Ove Arup. They, in turn, relied upon an exclusion clause which limited liability for pollution and contamination to £5m. Liability for asbestos was specifically excluded.

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Notice – ‘grounds’

 If you are serving a notice of breach, make sure it complies with the specific requirements of the contract.

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Luxury brands – online sales

Luxury brands do all they can to preserve the exclusiveness of their products. Thus, they try to prevent them being sold online (especially through retailers such as eBay and Amazon). But, to what extent are such policies anti-competitive?

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Most-read articles

Disputed will – guidance; procedure
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
What should you do if asked for correspondence and other documents in relation to a will you prepared for a client who has since died?  Read more...
MoJ – IT meltdown
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Many litigators are no doubt all too aware of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) January 2019 IT failures that hit the delivery of frontline legal services in some courts.  Read more...
Statutory notices – service
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The SC has widened the scope of the service of statutory notices. Read more...
Part 36 offers – appropriate
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Part 36 of the CPR allows a claimant or defendant to make an offer of settlement before trial. If the offer is not accepted and the opposing party does not meet the offer at trial, the court may... Read more...
Noise nuisance – liability?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent High Court decision has confirmed that L is not liable for nuisance caused by its T merely because L does not take steps available to prevent the cause of the nuisance, even when L knows... Read more...
RICS – service charges
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
We noted the RICS Code of Practice on service charges in our October 2018 issue, p19; the ‘Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)’ comes into force on 1 April 2019. Read more...
Notice of severance – rectification?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent case reminds practitioners of the importance of ensuring that a notice of severance accurately records all of the titles intended to be severed. Read more...
Children – parental responsibility; removal of
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
In what circumstances might the court order the removal of PR from the father? The author comments on a recent case which involved a unique set of circumstances justifying the removal of PR.  Read more...
Incompetence – not discrimination
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The CA has held that an incompetent process does not amount to discrimination. Read more...
Sentencing – contempt of court
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in relation to a claimant remanded to prison overnight for discussing evidence in a civil case.  Read more...

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