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Cava Maker Must Pay Euros 1.3 Million for Champagne Copyright Infringement

Penalties for infringement of trade marks and other intellectual property rights can be severe. In one case, a Spanish company that sold millions of bottles of cava into the UK market in breach of a champagne producer’s rights was stripped of the entire Euros 1.3 million profit it made from its wrongdoing. The cava bore a name, label and general get up that...

Property Investor Must Pay £120,400 Estate Agency Commission

It may come as a surprise to some property owners that estate agency fees are often payable regardless of whether a buyer is introduced by the agency concerned. A property investor found that out the hard way after the Court of Appeal found him liable to pay a £120,400 commission on the £6.8 million sale of a country estate. The investor had agreed to an...

Extending Your Home? Don’t Jump the Gun!

Local authorities can give ‘prior approval’ for relatively small domestic developments without the need for a full planning application – however, it is vital not to jump the gun. A guideline High Court decision established that ‘prior’ is the operative word and that such approval cannot be sought for developments that have already...

High Court Lifts Lid on Tense ITV Music Licensing Negotiations

Popular jingles and melodies are often played on television and few will be surprised to hear that their use is not free. However, one revealing High Court case lifted the lid on negotiations between ITV and collection societies charged with gathering in licence fees on behalf of musical artists. Following a reference, the Copyright Tribunal had fixed certain...

Chequered History of Ministry of Defence Procurement Exercise Revealed

Government contracts have to be put out to tender and such procurement exercises are a source of fierce competition and, not infrequently, litigation. One such case concerned the chequered history of attempts by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to procure 6,000 product lines of hand tools essential for military needs. There had been at least two past attempts by...