Lifecycle of a tech startup series: Intellectual Property
In England and Wales, recent case law highlights that parties in commercial litigation risk adverse costs sanctions if they unreasonably refuse to mediate or if they ignore a request to mediate without providing any justification. Whilst judges cannot compel parties to mediation, many judges appear to take an active role in case management issues and are keen to encourage parties to agree to mediation. Whilst mediation is not compulsory (unless there is a contractual clause to that effect), there is a growing trend towards parties attempting it, even in cases where it is unlikely to be successful. It is worth remembering that the use of mediation has also long been encouraged in the US. Against this background, it is interesting to canvass the views of lawyers practising in 12 other jurisdictions to ascertain whether the cultural shift towards mediation in the UK is reflective of what is generally happening around the globe.
In the case of (1) Dylan Weller (2) John Paul Weller (3) Bowie Weller (by their litigation friend Paul Weller) v Associated Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1163 (QB), the High Court found that there had been a misuse of private information and a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 where an online newspaper had published, without consent, un-pixelated photographs of a well-known singer's three children enjoying a family day out.
Following the Jackson reforms and the decision in Andrew Mitchell MP v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 1537, the courts are now charged with balancing proportionality of costs and fairness to all parties.
In the estate of Steven James Andrew Huntley (Deceased) subnom (1) Michael Brooke (2) Arthur Jennings (3) Ian Campbell v Louise Purton & 5 Ors  EWHC 547 (Ch), the High Court confirmed that the correct approach to the interpretation of a frustrated Will was the same as that for a contract: the aim was to identify the testator's intention.
Harry Styles' recent obtaining of permanent harassment injunctions against four paparazzi photographers is a reminder to music stars and others in the public eye that legal steps can be taken to stop unwarranted attention and non-stop surveillance by unscrupulous press photographers and other members of the media.
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