Dallas defeated down under
Buyers Club has suffered a blow in its bid to pursue file
sharers in Australia. In a
judgment today, Justice Perram of the Federal Court of
Australia rejected the demand letter that DBC proposed to send
to 4,726 iiNet account holders. He also said that the movie
company should post a bond of A$600,000 ($445,000) to secure
its undertaking, as it has no presence in Australia.
DBC’s proposed demand comprised four claims:
(a) the cost of an actual purchase of a single copy of the film
for each copy of the film downloaded; (b) an amount relating to
each infringers’ uploading activities; (c)
punitive damages depending on how many copies of other
copyrighted works had been downloaded by each
infringer; and (d) damages arising from the amount of money it
has cost DBC to obtain each infringer’s name.
Perram said that while (a) and (d) were reasonable, (b) and
(c) were "untenable" and outside the powers of the court:
"[T]he power does not extend to facilitating court cases or
negotiating positions lacking legal substance."
In a report,
CNET said: "The ruling was greeted with surprise across the
industry, with legal pundits regarding Justice Perram's
decision as big win for both ISPs and customers," while Leanne
O’Donnell said on Twitter: "Crucially Perram J
has limited scope of 'speculative invoicing' in Au to exclude
claims for punitive damages & loss re uploading."
EBA to review poisonous priority
Five questions have been
referred to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal
concerning the problematic issue of partial priority. The
referral, in a case involving a patent filed by Infineum, aims
to address a divergence in the EPO’s case law
article on his firm’s website, David Holland
of Carpmaels & Ransford said: "The answers to the referred
questions will rewrite, or at least significantly clarify, the
concept of partial priority, with potential effects on pending
patents and applications. No matter how the Enlarged Board
answers the first four questions, it will have to address the
'toxic divisional’ problem head on."
Meanwhile, on the
IPKat blog, Darren Smyth said he was "pleased to see that
the Board purposely formulated the questions in terms broader
than those suggested by the parties, such that they reflect the
issues of partial priority generally, which can arise whenever
there is state of the art potentially relevant under either
Article 54(3) or 54(2) EPC, and not only in situations of
article on his firm’s site posted in January
this year, Andrew Carridge of Reddie & Grose defined
poisonous priority: "[I]n some circumstances, a European (or
UK) divisional application could destroy the novelty of a claim
in a parent patent or application that is not entitled to
priority, or vice versa."
We will bring further analysis of this case as it
UPC’s London home
The London branch
of the UPC Central Division, which will handle life science
cases, and the UK local division will be located at Aldgate Tower, an
office block in the City of London. The UK IPO this week confirmed
that it had signed a lease for the 8th floor of the
building, which covers 19,506 sq ft (1,789 sq metres).
The decision has been broadly welcomed by central
London-based IP practitioners, as the government had previously
been looking at a location in the Docklands area east of the
city, which is less convenient.
Read more about the other locations of the UPC in our recent
article, and find more information on our dedicated page
Where are we?
Also in London,
the next dinner meeting of UNION-IP, which takes place on
September 10, features Professor Jeremy Phillips talking on the
topic: "IP in 2015 - Where we are v Where I thought we'd
As many readers will know, Phillips founded Managing IP back
in 1990 and is well known for his blogs, publications and
teaching. He has said he will retire at the end of 2015, so
this may be your last chance to hear him speak.
Tickets are £44 (members); £69 (non-members)
IP Stars – your questions answered
We receive a lot of
enquiries about the methodology, process and timing of our
research for IP Stars and the Managing IP Awards at this time
of year, as the research process starts in September.
To address some of the most frequently asked questions, we
are holding a free webinar on September 3. Speakers include
some of our researchers and Phil Cox of Global Law Marketing,
who has experience of submitting information to IP Stars and
If you would like to know more about the process and ask
questions of the researchers, please sign up for the webinar.
If you can’t make the date, a recorded version
will be available soon after.