Taylor Wessing updates

Supreme Court rules on pregabalin patent
Taylor Wessing
  • Intellectual Property
  • United Kingdom
  • 03 December 2018

The Supreme Court recently handed down its judgment in the Warner-Lambert v Generics (UK) (Mylan) case concerning the validity and infringement of a patent claiming the use of pregabalin for treating neuropathic pain. The key issues which the court had to resolve were the tests for infringement of a second medical use claim and the test for plausibility of a claim such that it is sufficient.

Major restructuring and insolvency reforms announced
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 26 October 2018

The government recently announced that it will legislate to update the restructuring and insolvency systems, with the aim of the United Kingdom retaining the gold-standard regime. The reforms are a response to international developments (with countries such as Spain and the Netherlands recently introducing updated insolvency systems) and some domestic corporate collapses which have put the UK system under stress.

Supreme Court says trademark owners should bear costs of implementing blocking injunctions
Taylor Wessing
  • Intellectual Property
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 August 2018

The Supreme Court has ruled that trademark owners should indemnify internet service providers (ISPs) for the costs incurred in blocking access to websites that infringe their marks. The decision reverses the lower courts' rulings that these costs should be picked up by ISPs. However, the indemnity must be limited to reasonable compliance costs. Therefore, the ruling should not deter brand owners from applying for blocking orders in appropriate cases.

Bolar and the experimental use exemptions in the United Kingdom
Taylor Wessing
  • Intellectual Property
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 June 2018

The exemptions to patent infringement applicable in the United Kingdom to life sciences products are often a source of confusion. This is not least because of the introduction of a third exemption in this area on 1 October 2014. The extent of protection offered by each exemption differs, but to some extent overlaps, and there is only slim guidance from the courts on two of the three.

Trademark hearing officer's decision vaporised by High Court
Taylor Wessing
  • Intellectual Property
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 May 2018

The High Court has overturned a decision of the registrar of trademarks in which an opposition against an application for a stylised mark featuring the words 'VAPE & CO' was upheld. The opposition was filed by London Vape Company Ltd based on its stylised UK registration featuring the words 'THE vape.co'. The High Court upheld the appeal, noting that "if the only similarity between the respective marks is a common element which has low distinctiveness, that points against there being a likelihood of confusion".

United Kingdom set to strengthen corporate governance of insolvent companies
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 April 2018

The United Kingdom's corporate governance regime has been stress tested in the past decade and in many respects it has done well. However, in response to certain high-profile corporate collapses which have caused heavy losses for creditors – in particular, individuals and suppliers with little opportunity to protect themselves against losses – and in the spirit of continual improvement, the government recently launched its Insolvency and Corporate Governance consultation.

Former director found to have entered into transaction at undervalue
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 16 March 2018

A liquidator recently pursued a claim that the transfer of a company's trading inventory in satisfaction of money owed to the company's former director was a transaction at an undervalue and preference. The judge agreed, holding that the inventory transfer had been entered into with the intention of putting the former director in a better position than she would have been in on the company's liquidation.

Liquidator's claim struck out for insufficient drafting and abuse of process
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 March 2018

The High Court recently struck out a claim by a liquidator who had already brought a claim arising from the same facts against the same defendants. The court relied on the fact that the economic benefit of pursuing the claim would accrue only to the liquidator and held that the second claim constituted an abuse of process, as monies recovered would simply be paid back to the respondents as creditors, less the liquidators fees and costs.

What not to miss out when pursuing a fraudulent trading claim
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 February 2018

A liquidator recently applied for permission to amend his claim for fraudulent trading. The claim related to purported defrauding of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for non-payment of value added tax. Among other things, the judge held that whilst the costs order constituted loss to HMRC as a creditor, no valid claim in respect of costs was pleaded against the respondents and therefore there was no reasonably arguable case on the point.

Dealing with distress
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 February 2018

Investors may, for reasons outside of their control, find themselves with a financially distressed company in their portfolio and possibly in unfamiliar territory. For any distressed situation, being mindful of early warning signs and initiating contingency planning options sooner rather than later will assist in navigating what can sometimes seem like a minefield of issues which arise on an insolvency.

Committal of bankrupt for contempt
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 January 2018

A plaintiff recently applied for a bankrupt's committal to prison for contempt of court, providing certification that the bankrupt's conduct had breached the Insolvency Act 1986 without reasonable excuse. The court's decision appears to be the first to clarify the procedure for applying for a committal order on the basis of breaches of the Insolvency Act and provides helpful guidance to practitioners on this issue.

Payment of interest on proved debts
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 05 January 2018

The Court of Appeal recently held that there is a complete statutory code for interest recovery on proved debts in administrations and liquidations. Further, the court stated that statutory interest represents compensation for dividends paid after the administration, and does not depend on any right to interest under the underlying claim.

Court provides further clarification on distinction and appropriate use of rescission and annulment of bankruptcy order
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 22 December 2017

A recent Court of Appeal case has clarified that where the underlying liability on which a bankruptcy order is made is subsequently set aside, the correct remedy is rescission under Section 375(1) of the Insolvency Act. Further, annulment under Section 282(1)(a) is the appropriate remedy when, on grounds existing at the time of making the bankruptcy order, the order ought not to have been made.

Can the terms of a settlement agreement be challenged under Section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986?
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 24 November 2017

In between the presentation of a winding-up petition and the making of a winding-up order, a company entered into a settlement agreement with its founder. The judge concluded that the intended claims by the company's liquidators were not barred by the agreement. The judge also held that the release of contractual rights constituted a disposition, as did a promise not to sue. The provisions of the settlement agreement were therefore void.

Application by Lehman's administrators on distribution to shareholders
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 17 November 2017

The administrators of Lehman Brothers Europe Ltd recently brought an application for directions on whether to make a substantial distribution of surplus to the company's sole shareholder while the company was in administration and the administrators' role in that distribution. To navigate around the Insolvency Act, the administrators devised a nifty strategy whereby the distribution would be made using the residual powers still vested in the directors and shareholders of the company pursuant to the Companies Act.

Legal professional privilege and bankruptcy
Taylor Wessing
  • Insolvency & Restructuring
  • United Kingdom
  • 03 November 2017

A court recently confirmed that legal professional privilege does not automatically vest in the trustee in bankruptcy. Legal professional privilege is a fundamental human right such that express statutory powers would be necessary to deprive the bankrupt of that right. Therefore, the bankrupt would need to waive privilege or consent to the use of privileged documents.

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