Technetix v Teleste: Adjournment of Patent Trial
In an extraordinary turn of events, on the first day of a patent infringement trial, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has granted an adjournment.
While the English courts are, in general, accommodating of changes to the timetable up to trial, this is usually on the proviso that such changes do not affect the trial window (once fixed).
In Technetix v Teleste, on the first day of trial, Technetix applied to have the trial adjourned. This was so that it could run a new argument, first developed in its skeleton argument submitted shortly before trial, and the parties could adduce evidence accordingly. This was necessary because, without being able to advance the new argument, Technetix accepted that it would have to concede that its patent was anticipated by the cited prior art.
The trial judge, His Honour Judge Hacon, agreed to the adjournment, reasoning that there would be serious prejudice to Technetix, should it not be able to run the argument (namely, the revocation of the patent). By contrast, the prejudice suffered by Teleste would only be financial.
HHJ Hacon ordered that Technetix pay Teleste’s costs thrown away in preparing for trial. Further, he held that these costs should not be subject to the phase or total costs cap of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.
This is a further salutary warning from the Court that a litigant must have its arguments and evidence marshalled well in advance of trial.
Case details at a glance
Decision level: Intellectual Property Enterprise Court
Citation: Technetix v Teleste  EWHC 1941
Date: 17 July 2018