Waterfront achieves success for Ningbo Wentai Sports Equipment Co Limited at recent Case Management Conference.

Ningbo Wentai Sports Equipment Co Limited (“Ningbo”) is based in China and deals with an extensive range of sports equipment including golf pull/push carts, electrical golf carts and golf accessory trailers.

Ningbo’s dispute with Jonathan Hwan Wang is in relation to a “One-click” golf trolley for which Mr Wang owned a UK patent.  Waterfront commenced proceedings on behalf of Ningbo seeking invalidity of the patent and then obtained summary judgment in Ningbo’s favour.  However, Mr Wang brought a counterclaim alleging breach of confidence.

For more details about the case see here.   On 5 October 2012, at the Case Management Conference for the counterclaim, Judge Birss QC summarily assessed Ningbo’s costs in respect of the invalidity claim in the sum of £15,785.

Ningbo was represented at the hearing by Matthew Harris, a Partner at Waterfront, with Mr Wang being represented by a barrister from a leading set of IP chambers. Commenting upon the decision, Mr Harris said:

the Order for costs made by Judge Birss QC clarifies the costs position where a part of the case has been concluded and an independent Counterclaim continues to trial.  Significantly, each can be treated as separate proceedings for the purposes of applying the overall cost caps that apply in cases before the Patents County Court.

Philip Partington, a Solicitor at Waterfront said:

Once again, the judge has made it clear that the various cost caps in Patent County Court litigation should be interpreted flexibly.  He allowed work on a detailed letter before action to be classed as part of the ‘particulars of claim’ stage of the litigation.  He also accepted our argument that summary judgment application witness statements could be included under the general  ‘witness statements’ costs and not just costs of the application.  As a result, the monies awarded to Wentai were much greater.

The Waterfront team was led by Matthew Harris and included Philip Partington.