Two new additions to our IP/it Update website:
- a case note on Microsoft Corporation v Electro-Wide Ltd.  FSR 580 which I first wrote in June 1997; and
- Peter Hayward’s presentation to the IP Centre of Excellence on advisory opinions in Leeds on 24 Nov 2005 and the accompanying notes.
The case note is on one of the few authorities on the statutory presumptions set out in s.104 and s.106 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. That was a summary judgment application under Order 14 which is generally regarded as more favourable to defendants than CPR Part 24 which replaced it.
Peter Hayward’s slides cover advisory opinions under s.74A and s.74B of the Patents Act 1977 as amended. There have been 6 applications under those sections since the provisions came into force in October 2005. Two of them have been made by my mate Chris Hemingway of Bailey Walsh. There don’t seem to be any pending applications. Does that mean that advisory opinions will go the way of the employees’ compensation and the comptroller’s juridiction in infringement disputes? It would be a pity but entirely possible. What did Lord Esher say in Ungar v Sugg (1892) 9 RPC 113: “It is really not the fault of the law; it is the fault of the mode of conducting the law in a patent case. That is what causes all this mischief.”