The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
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Wragges triumphs as Appeal Court ends Cinpres patent saga" /> One of the country's longest-running patent cases has ended with a Court of Appeal victory going to the IP team at Wragge & Co, after 12 years of bitter courtroom battles.
Lord Justices Jacob, Richards and Judge heard arguments from Cinpres Gas Injection, advised by Wragges, and Melea, advised by Nabarro, as they warred over ownership of a plastic injection moulding technology patent.
The two companies first clashed in the Patent Office in 1996, with the case reaching the Court of Appeal in 1998. Melea won that round but one of the key witnesses, James Hendry, admitted perjury in 2001 and Cinpres initiated legal proceedings once again.
In 2006 High Court judge Mr Justice Mann ruled that Melea was not tainted by the perjury and that the original judgment stood. But Jacob LJ took a different view a year later, using scathing words for Melea's witnesses.
In his summary of the case, Jacob LJ wrote: "James Hendry was one of the liars. The other was Michael Ladney. Neither deserves the courtesy of a 'Mister'.
"Mann J observed at the outset that 'this is a very strange case'. It has got a good deal stranger since then."
Wragge & Co IP partner Gordon Harris represented Cinpres, working with Geoffrey Bayliss of patent attorneys Boult Wade Tennant and barristers Jessie Bowhill and Peter Prescott QC of 8 New Square.
Harris said: "It has been one of the most factually interesting cases that I've ever been involved in."
Nabarro partner Jonathan Radcliffe acted for Melea, instructing Iain Purvis QC and Benet Brandreth of 11 South Square.