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Developing Others' Ideas Can Itself Be Novel and Inventive

Patents that merely repeat pre-existing ideas are invalid – there has to be something novel about an invention to secure patent protection. However, that does not mean that developments based on the work of others cannot themselves be novel and...

Surgery Gone Wrong? Did You Give Fully Informed Consent?

Every surgical procedure requires the patient's informed consent and, if that is not given, compensation is payable whether or not an operation is negligently performed. In one High Court case exactly on point, a woman who was left in constant pain following...

Charity Report Highlights Need for Trustee Vigilance

The need for charities to exercise strict controls over the disbursement of significant sums was made clear in a recent report by the Charity Commissioners into a small charity. The charity, which operated to promote active sports among the disabled,...

Probate Charges Increase Likely to Be Delayed

The Government has acknowledged that the upcoming general election makes it unlikely that probate fees will increase significantly in May as planned, as there will not be time for Parliament to pass the legislation. The planned changes to the fees payable...

Trips and Slips Lead to Settlements

A number of cases involving slips and trips have recently led to compensation settlements for injured persons. In one case, a customer in a supermarket who slipped on a puddle which had not been mopped up suffered a head injury when she collided with the...

Definitive Plan Decides Boundary Dispute

Boundary disputes are commonplace and, unless skilfully mediated, can often spiral out of control, ending up in legal action the cost of which far exceeds the value of the land under dispute. One of the more important principles in such disputes is often a...

Landlord Repairs Must Be Reasonable, Not Most Economical

A long leasehold tenant has had mixed fortunes in opposing a charge for more than £55,000 after her council landlord undertook a major programme of repairs to the block in which she lives. Under the terms of her lease, the council was required to keep...

Tax Penalties Avoided for Those Affected by IT Glitch

With HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pressing ahead with plans to make 'customers' deal with them only digitally, it is good to see that when a system issue with the EE network meant that some of the company's customers were unable to access the HMRC website...

Changes to the Calculation of Personal Injury Compensation Payments

When a claimant is awarded a lump sum compensation payment, the actual amount they receive is adjusted to take into account the interest they can expect to earn by investing it. The law makes it clear that claimants must be treated as risk-averse investors,...

Court of Appeal Rejects Pimlico Plumbers' Appeal in Employment Status Case

There have been a number of recent cases looking at the precise nature of the employment status of those working for employers who like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives but who operate a model of self-employment. In Aslam and...
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