The new head of the Patents County Court (PCC) has hit out at flawed attempts by ACS:Law to sneak technical wins in copyright cases against P2P infringers. The PCC is the specialist UK court tasked with hearing small and medium-sized IP cases. Justice and the rule of law are not best served, he argued in his judgement, by allowing lawyers and their clients to win copyright infringement cases against internet users on technicalities. What's more, the judge has grave concerns about the case being made before him by ACS:Law on behalf of MediaCAT.
Judge Birss QC wrote:
45. I should end by recording that I am not sorry to have reached the conclusion I have in refusing all the requests for default judgement. The nature of the allegations made in the Particulars of Claim are such that it seems to me that it would be unfortunate if it were possible to obtain a default judgement without notice using the Request for Judgement procedure (...) The Request for Judgement procedure is an essentially administrative procedure and plays an important role in court procedure in the vast majority of cases in which it is used. However these are specialist intellectual property claims raising difficult and potentially controversial legal issues".
A barrister specialising in technology and media law, has blogged about the ruling, including Judge Birss' concerns about the evidence against the alleged infringers, in greater depth; read his views here (Francis Davey)
You can also read the full judgement here