Lawrence Graham's angle on intellectual property, media and sport issues.
Lawrence Graham LLp
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  • Court of Appeal bring Tesla's appeal to a grinding halt

    Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed Tesla Motors Inc's ("Tesla") appeal of the High Court's decision to strike out its claim for libel and malicious falsehood against the BBC.

     

    As we previously reported, this dispute relates to an episode of the popular BBC television programme 'Top Gear' which aired in 2008.   Tesla, who manufacture and distribute electric cars, took exception to the scene in which the show presenter Jeremy Clarkson said the following when testing one of their cars; "Although Tesla say it will do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out ...

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  • Morrissey's defamation action to proceed to trial

    A court has held that singer Paul Morrissey's claim against the magazine NME for defamation can go ahead to trial.  The court rejected an application brought by the magazine's publishers IPC Media ("IPC") in which they attempted to have the claim struck out for delay arguing that it was "not a genuine bid for vindication".

    The judge rejected IPC's application and stated that the singer had a very serious claim and had a credible explanation for the delay in progressing the proceedings.  The judge said that to strike out the claim would be a disproportionate sanction.  He added, "The imputation complained ...

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  • Joint Committee critically reviews the Defamation Bill

    This week a review of the Government's draft Defamation Bill was published.  The report by the Joint Committee calls for greater reforms to defamation law.  A copy of the report is available here.

    One of the report's key recommendations is the need to reduce the high cost of defamation proceedings.  One of the report's proposed methods for reducing costs, includes making legislative changes giving judges the power to handle cases more efficiently.  This includes the abolition of jury trials in defamation cases in all but a few exceptional situations.  The abolition of a jury would mean that judges could ...

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  • Defamation on the up

    New figures, drawn from the legal information provider Sweet and Maxwell (which can be viewed here) reveal that the number of defamation cases brought before the courts in England and Wales is on the up.

     

    The number of cases have risen steadily over the last few years with 57 cases being brought in 07/08, 78 in 08/09, 83 in 09/10 and 86 in 10/11. 

     

    The increase may be attributable to the country's celebrities and sports personalities as the study reveals that defamation claims by such individuals have nearly trebled since 2008.

     

    In addition, the number of ...

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  • Footballer Tackles Twitter

    Last Friday, a footballer who had succeeded in obtaining a super-injunction protecting his identify and the details of an alleged extra-marital affair being published by the press, provoked a media outcry after his lawyers applied for, and succeeded in obtaining, a disclosure order (the "Order") against Twitter.

    The Order requires Twitter to disclose the names and contact details of those users who had allegedly breached the footballer's super-injunction by posting comments which named and shamed the footballer in question.

    The Order requires Twitter to disclose the requested information within seven days or within the appropriate time as required by the ...

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  • The hype around super injunctions continues

    LGBlogsIP has kept readers in the loop with regards to the relatively new legal creature the 'super injunction' since we started blogging. However, for those that are new to this phenomenon, in brief, it is a type of injunction which not only gives anonymity to the claimant but also prevents the fact that the injunction even exists being reported. So far, according to reports, it has mainly been celebrities and wealthy individuals that have obtained this type of injunction, our previous blogs on the matter can be found here.

    The UK press have also picked up on the newsworthy ...

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  • Top Gear and Tesla Face Head On Collision

    The US electric car company Tesla Motors Inc. ("Tesla") has launched a claim in the High Court against the BBC's popular television programme 'Top Gear', claiming libel and malicious falsehood.  Tesla claim that in an episode, first aired in 2008, the TV show faked a scene in which Tesla's Roadster electric car appeared to run out of power. 

    Tesla took exception to the scene in which the show presenter Jeremy Clarkson said, "Although Tesla say it will do 200 miles, we worked out that on our track it would run out after just 55 miles and if it does run ...

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  • Twitter Post lands Welsh Politician with Libel Claim

    Politian and former Mayor, Mr Colin Elsbury, made legal history last week by becoming the first person in Britain to pay damages for making a libellous comment on the social networking site Twitter.

    Mr Elsbury has agreed to pay fellow politician Eddie Talbot a sum of damages and costs in settlement of a libel action sparked by a tweet which Mr Elsbury made on his Twitter account.

    The offending tweet was posted in connection to a Welsh council by-election for which both Mr Elsbury and Mr Talbot were standing.  On the day of the poll, Mr Elsbury wrote on his ...

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  • Changes to defamation law to be announced today

    The Government is today expected to announce its' plans to change English defamation laws with the publication of a defamation bill.

    Libel reform groups argue that the law needs to be changed to make it easier to strike out trivial claims, to bring costs down and to protect those speaking out in the public interest.  A coalition of libel reform groups have said change is needed because English law is currently "unfair, unnecessarily complicated and out of date".

    In January Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the Government's bill would help "restore our international reputation for free speech".  Mr ...

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  • No Love lost as Courtney settles Twitter case

    What is the cost of a tweet? Well, in Courtney Love's case, $430,000!  Love has agreed to pay this eye watering amount to Dawn Simorangkir in settlement of her defamation claim over Love's posts on Twitter and MySpace (see here for more details on the claim).  The sum is to be paid in instalments stretching to 2014.

    It is safe to say that the legal world will be sighing with disappointment, as this case was hailed as an opportunity to receive an indication from the courts of the status of tweets in this area of law.  The legal status of ...

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