Navitaire gets copyright trial on EasyJet

Field Fisher Waterhouse has struck the first blow actng for Accenture subsidiary Navitaire in the case that will decide the future of EasyJet’s internet booking system.
Herbert Smith, advising EasyJet, applied to have the copyright case struck out, but High Court judge Mr Justice Pumfrey last week ruled that the case will go to full trial.
Field Fisher Waterhouse partner Nick Rose and Henry Carr QC of 11 South Square are advising Navitaire. Herbert Smith’s Bill Moodie and Richard Arnold QC of 11 South Square are representing EasyJet.
Navitaire supplied a booking system to EasyJet in the mid-1990s but the airline dumped it in favour of one supplied by rival software firm BulletProof Technologies, causing Navitaire to file a copyright protection suit in the High Court. Despite EasyJet’s claims that the case is “complete nonsense motivated purely by commercial jealousy”, it seems that Judge Pumfrey does not agree.
Arnold and Herbert Smith claimed that Navitaire’s argument regarding the business logic of the booking systems was incoherent and should be thrown out, a plea that has been rejected.
A Navitaire spokesperson told The Lawyer: “We are pleased the court has ruled that the entirety of our claim will proceed to trial. We will take every action necessary to make certain our intellectual property is protected.”