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Commercial agents – software agents

The Commercial Agents Regs give protection to business agents who are involved in the ‘sale or purchase of goods’. But, the Regs do not contain a definition of ‘goods’.
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Exclusion clauses – contra proferentem

Generally, if there is an ambiguity in an exclusion clause, then that ambiguity will be construed against the person who is trying to rely on the exclusion clause (the contra proferentem principle).

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Trade mark – local goodwill

You cannot register a trade mark in the UK if its use is likely to be prevented by a protected unregistered mark (eg via passing off). But, what happens if there is merely local goodwill in that unregistered mark?

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Competition – luxury goods

To what extent can a supplier of luxury goods limit the extent to which those goods are sold on unauthorised sites? For instance, can Coty insist that its authorised re-sellers only sell its goods through those re-sellers’ own online sites (and not on the likes of ebay and Amazon)?

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Copyright – TV format

The High Court has recently held that it is possible for a TV format to be the subject of copyright protection as a dramatic work.

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Bankruptcy – no privilege?

There has been an important decision that seems to restrict the ability of a trustee in bankruptcy to use privileged documents belonging to the bankrupt.

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Signature – electronic

Electronic Communications Act 2000 says that electronic signatures are admissible in evidence; however, it does not go as far as saying that they have the equivalent legal effect as ‘wet-ink’ signatures.

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Family buy-out – capital reduction?

Shares in a private company are unlikely to be readily saleable. Indeed, there are often restrictions on sale. The end result is that family members can inherit shares which may have value on paper, but produce very little income if the company does not pay significant and regular dividends.

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Letter of credit – location

The Supreme Court has held that the ‘location’ of a debt due under a letter of credit is the place of residence of the debtor – not where the debt is due to be paid.

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Inventions – employees

Prior to 2005, it was necessary for an employee/inventor to prove that the patent (not just the invention) was of ‘outstanding benefit’ to the employer in order to be able to claim compensation. But, since 2005 employees can claim if the patented invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’ to the employer.

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Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...

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