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Wind Turbines Patent Obvious and Invalid Court of Appeal Rules

Patents provide protection and encouragement to inventiveness and novelty, not to obvious developments of others’ ideas. The Court of Appeal made that point in finding invalid a patent in respect of wind turbine arrays. A company had patented a method of operating pitch-controlled wind turbines so as to gradually reduce rotor speeds in high winds in a manner...

Developers – Are Your Planning Permissions Lawful? Don’t Jump the Gun!

Unlawful planning permissions are regularly overturned by judges, and those who pre-empt their decisions by carrying out developments prematurely do so at their own risk. In one such case, however, the High Court found that a council was justified in refusing to take immediate enforcement action to remove an unauthorised fence. The case concerned a quarry set in...

Company Wrongly Refused Insurance Cover Wins Test Case

Product liability and professional indemnity insurance policies invariably require that any potential claims must be swiftly notified to the insurer, but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal has considered the issue in an important test case. The case concerned a company that had, via a supply chain, leased a piece of industrial equipment – a large...

Where Is a Company’s Centre of Main Interest? High Court Considers

The location of a company’s registered office is not always an indication of where it has its centre of main interest (COMI). The issue can be of crucial importance to insolvency practitioners, as one High Court case revealed. The case concerned three companies that were registered in Jersey but each of which owned a shopping centre in England. A building...

Zero Tolerance No Substitute for Individual Consideration

Employers are fully entitled to take a very dim view of violence in the workplace – but, when considering what action to take, each case must be considered on its own facts. In one case, a worker who lost his job following an angry office incident succeeded in his unfair dismissal claim. The motor vehicle technician, who had worked for the same car dealership...

Housing Development Undermined by Restrictive Covenant

Many housing estates are subject to restrictive covenants for the benefit of present and future residents and they can act as a control mechanism on development that is just as effective as the planning system. In one case that illustrated the point, a planning consent granted for the demolition of a house and its replacement by four new dwellings was deeply...