Trade marks that are not put to good use merely clog up the register and have been likened to abandoned vessels in the shipping lanes of commerce. In one case on point, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) stripped a classic car company of a valuable mark that it had not used for years.
Entrepreneurs intent on raising money with a view to commercial exploitation of their ideas inevitably have to disclose detailed business plans to those they hope will provide finance. Such disclosures are not without risk but one High Court case illustrated how the law of confidentiality can provide protection.
Those engaged in international trade obviously have to confront language barriers and, as one High Court case showed, it is no good sitting on your hands if you receive documents in a language that you do not understand.
In a ground-breaking decision, the High Court has upheld the legitimacy of the growing number of companies that specialise in taking over legal claims by disgruntled consumers and pursuing them, en bloc, against alleged wrongdoers.
The law positively encourages business competition, but there are limits and judges are active in policing the line of acceptability. In one case, the owner of an independent bakery narrowly escaped being sent to prison for making illegitimate use of a much larger rival’s equipment.
Online platforms make it possible for almost anyone to have a flutter on the financial markets. However, web-based trading can be open to abuse and that was certainly so in one case concerning a retired teacher who made a profit of more than $460,000 in less than a minute.
The high seas may be wild and uncontrollable, but they are not lawless. In one case that proved the point, the High Court broke a commercial impasse that had left an oil tanker drifting at anchor thousands of miles from her home port for almost a year.
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