Appleyard Lees sees unprecedented level of IP litigation

Appleyard Lees sees unprecedented level of IP litigation

Intellectual property law firm Appleyard Lees will litigate three high-stakes disputes over a four-week period in June and July.

The trials raise novel questions of law, according to Appleyard Lees, and will see the introduction of multiple new working procedures as the courts gear up for remote working.

All trials will be heard before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. Proceedings will be virtual in accordance with restrictions and accommodations necessitated by coronavirus (Covid-19) disruption and distancing requirements.

The parties and the courts have been grappling with novel procedural issues—including fully electronic bundles, and even whether the judge will wear wigs and gowns.

Cases are being managed by multidisciplinary teams of solicitors and trade mark attorneys with team leads based in Leeds and Manchester.

Robert Cumming, the team lead in Leeds and head of litigation and trade marks at Appleyard Lees, said: “Having three back-to-back trials in a four-week period is rare for any intellectual property firm. Fortunately, our litigation teams moved on from paper files several years ago and so are fully prepared for the new normal.”

“The intellectual property profession is also recession proof to a degree—because businesses are looking five or ten years ahead. The natural increase in disputes during more challenging times is buoyed by the everyday protection side of branding and technology.”

Cumming added: “Managing concurrent trials and trying cases remotely are challenges that we relish. We are preparing ourselves and our clients for the logistical changes virtual hearings will bring—electronic documents and files, remote cross-examination, changes to procedure, etc—and we look forward to being among the first participants in this new virtual court system.”

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Mark Dugdale

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