Legal Updates - Amendments to Particulars of Claim 2008

Intellectual Property Law – Trade Marks – Community Trade Marks - Amendments to Particulars of Claim

In the case of UK Channel Management Ltd v E! Entertainment Television Inc and Another [2007] the defendants objected to proposed amendments to the claimants' pleadings. In this case, the claimant company broadcasted a home and lifestyle channel and was proprietor of a Community trade mark for the stylised word mark “UKTV Style”, which was the channel in question. The defendant companies wanted to launch a new channel under the name of “The Style Network”.

In May 2006, the defendants made an application to register a logo incorporating the word “Style” as a Community Trade Mark in respect of the broadcasting and production of television programmes.

The claimant accordingly filed an objection to that registration on the 29th of May. The claimant then issued proceedings alleging trade mark infringement and passing-off. It brought proceedings seeking permission to amend its particulars of claim.

An issue arose in relation to the claimant's proposed amendments concerning allegations relating to the defendants' Community Trade Mark.

The defendants argued that the amendments constituted an attack upon the registration process, and that the issues raised in this case would be duplicative of the objection to registration filed at the Community Trade Mark Office.

The defendants argued that permission to amend the claimants’ particulars of claim should be refused out of respect for the Community process.

The court held that in the circumstances, the original particulars of claim, dated the 5th of September 2007, and the original pleadings thereof had raised the spectre of duplicative process. Accordingly, the proposed amendments had not taken the case into territory not already covered by the original pleadings.

In such a situation, the court decided that any arguments in relation to duplicative process fell to be levelled at the original pleading, but were not a bar to permitting the proposed amendments to the pleadings. Accordingly, the court allowed the amendments to be made.

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© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

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