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Overseas Bank Fights ‘Irrational’ Nuclear Proliferation Sanctions

In a civilised democracy it is fundamental that anyone harmed by executive action taken by the state is entitled to know the reason why. As one case concerning an overseas bank that had its assets frozen proved, however, the international fight against nuclear proliferation can provide a rare public interest exception to the rule. The bank was based in a country...

Don’t Sue the Wrong Defendant – See a Solicitor Today!

Rule number one of civil litigation is to make sure that you sue the right defendant. As one case showed, however, the complexity of modern corporate structures means that professional advice is needed to select the correct target. When a shop lease came to an end, the landlord launched proceedings with a view to making the tenant pay for dilapidations to the...

High Court Rules on Hollywood Screenplay Authorship Dispute

The creation of artistic works frequently involves collaboration – but to what extent do inspiration, general advice and assistance with research amount to authorship? The High Court tackled that thorny issue in the context of a dispute over the screenplay of a Hollywood movie. The film, which achieved Oscar and BAFTA nominations, grossed about $44 million at...

Shape of London Black Taxis Not Distinctive Enough to Be Trade Marked

The iconic shape of the classic London black taxi is recognised around the world – but the Court of Appeal has ruled that it does not have the distinctive character required to form the basis of a valid trade mark. The manufacturers of the Fairway taxi had registered three-dimensional trade marks that featured drawings of the vehicle and sought to protect its...

Don’t Assume that Photos Posted on the Internet Are Free to Use!

There is a tendency to believe that photographs and other copyright works posted on the Internet are free for anyone to use as they wish. One case concerning a classic photograph of poet Dylan Thomas proved how very mistaken that assumption is. The photograph of the Welsh bard was taken in 1937. Copyright in the image was owned by the person who took it and...

The Global Economy Demands Consistent Judicial Decision Making

A global economy requires global consistency in legal decision-making and English judges are very reluctant to go behind the rulings of foreign courts – however much they may disagree with them. In one such case, the High Court refused to order enforcement of an arbitration award that had been overturned by a Russian judge. The case concerned a dispute...