Oraka v Geostel

2020-07-06T05:40:38+00:00

Counsel for two of the defendants, Geostel and its director Paul Daynes, since June 2016. The case relates to industrial copyright in the design of a component called a cup used in asparagus-grading machines. I was instructed just after the High Court had awarded damages of $4.1m against my clients and another party, Napier Tool & Die, in 2016 – the largest award of damages for copyright infringement in New Zealand history.

That award was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2016: reported at [2017] 2 NZLR 611.  The High Court was directed to assess damages on a “user principle” (or notional licence fee) basis rather than lost profits.  Geostel was awarded costs on Oraka’s abandoned application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court: [2017] NZSC 79. There was a further six day trial in the High Court in 2017 including extensive expert evidence.  The High Court set damages at $510,000, plus interest going back to 2005 which effectively doubled the amount due: reported at (2018) 131 IPR 363. This was reduced on appeal to $47,000: [2020] NZCA 256.

Brands Limited v Bed Bath ‘N’ Table Pty Limited

2021-02-09T07:28:35+00:00

Counsel for New Zealand manchester and homewares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond in a claim for trade mark infringement, trade mark invalidity, passing off and breach of the Fair Trading Act by its competitor, Bed Bath N’ Table. The case is set down for a three week trial in the Wellington High Court in late 2021.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co v Cooper Tyres NZ

2021-02-09T07:22:05+00:00

Counsel for the NZ-based defendants in a passing off and Fair Trading Act claim in the High Court (plus trade mark invalidity application) brought by a major US corporation, which also involves a counterclaim for trade mark infringement, passing off and breach of the Fair Trading Act.  Set down for a two week trial in mid-2021.

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