Case Summaries: 22 November 1999

THE FOLLOWING notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Patent

Playhut Inc v Spring Form Inc; Ch D (Laddie J) 8 Oct 1999.

AN INVENTOR was not prevented by the Patents Act 1977 from widening out the claims of his invention between the filing of his application for a patent and its grant. The prohibition on widening the scope of the claims in s 76(2) of the Act was expressly limited to widening amendments made after the grant.

Michael Silverleaf QC (Halliwell Landau) for S; Mark Platts-Mills QC, Douglas Campbell (Needham & Grant) for P.

Licensing

South Kesteven District Council v Mackie and ors; CA (Simon Brown, Waller, Tuckey LJJ) 12 Oct 1999.

THE DEFINITION of circus in s 7(4) of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 was capable of including the winter quarters of the circus and there was, therefore, no requirement for the circus owner to be licensed under the Act when keeping his dangerous animals in winter quarters.

Peter Dean (Langleys, Lincoln) for the appellants; Russell Harris (Sharpe Pritchard & Co) for the council.

Costs

Comninos v Prudential Assurance Ltd; CA (Simon Brown, Waller, Tuckey LJJ) 12 Oct 1999.

THE ENGLISH court had jurisdiction where a summons had been issued under s 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 to decide whether a party not domiciled within the jurisdiction had such a connection with proceedings pending in the English court that he should pay the costs although he was not named as a party. If the non-party was domiciled in a Brussels Convention country, the convention did not prevent the English court from exercising its jurisdiction under s 51 of the 1981 Act.

Alexander Layton QC, Lucy Wyles (Waterson Hicks) for the appellant; Robert Hildyard QC, Anna Markham (Ince & Co) for the respondent.

Negligence

Lister and ors v Hesley Hall Ltd; CA (Swinton Thomas, Waller LJJ, Jonathan Parker J) 7 Oct 1999.

THE OWNER and manager of a residential school was not vicariously liable for sexual and physical assaults on pupils carried out by a housemaster at the school, since although the housemaster was in breach of of the duties he owed to the boys in his care, his actions were outside the course of his employment.

Andrew Collender QC, Andrew Miller (Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave, Leeds) for the defendant; Richard Maxwell QC, Rosalind Coe (Last Cawthra Feather, Shipley) for the claimants.

Evidence

Houghton v Liverpool City Council; QBD, Div Ct (Laws LJ, Potts J) 8 Oct 1999.

AN EXTRACT from the Trade Marks Register produced by a computer was admissible in evidence as a self-proving statement under Sch 3, para 8(c) to the Police and Criminal Act 1984. If it were not to be treated as computer- generated material, since it was plain from s 63 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 that the register was a public document, it would be admissible under s 1 of the Evidence Act 1845 and s 14 of the Evidence Act 1851 as self- proving.

Stuart Mills (Moore, Sexton Bibby, Liverpool) for the appellant; Neil Flewitt (Timothy Date, Liverpool) for the prosecution.

Police

Lineham v DPP; QBD, Div Ct (Laws LJ, Potts J) 4 Oct 1999.

WHERE A police officer with authorisation under s 18(4) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 proposed to enter premises by force, the provisions of para 5 of Code B of the Codes of Practice made pursuant to the Act contemplated, at the very least, that he was obliged to explain to the occupier his reason for so doing.

Peter Codner (Ranga & Co) for the appellant; C. Lewis (CPS) for the prosecution.

Trustee

Fuller v Evans and ors; Ch D (Lightman J) 7 Oct 1999.

WHERE THE exercise of trustees' discretionary power to provide trust moneys for the maintenance and education of the beneficiaries under a trust would indirectly benefit the settlor by relieving him of obligations under a consent order made on his divorce, and the trust expressly provided that the settlor should not benefit from the trust, the trustees were not necessarily precluded from exercising their power if it was in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

Francesca Quint (Thrings & Long) for the settlor; William V. Norris (Stone King) for the trustees.

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