Thursday 27 November 2008

Over-defended IP action -- who pays the costs?

Who pays for the cost of intellectual property litigation (here, copyright) where the successful defendant in what might be regarded as a test case effectively "over-defends" by unnecessarily raising several issues each of which went against the otherwise successful defendant? In Peer International Corporation, Southern Music Publishing Co and Peermusic (UK) Ltd v Editoria Musical de Cuba [2008] EWCA Civ 1260 the Court of Appeal for England and Wales (Arden LJ, Lloyd LJ, Moore-Bick LJ) held yesterday that the trial judge had been correct in deciding to make no costs order at all. Although his decision was described as "unusual", it was supported by the judge's reasoning.

The costs of the case were no doubt increased by the need to argue the various issues for two days before the Court of Appeal itself.

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