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Sweet Smell of SuccessSweet Smell of Success

» Posted on: 4 May 2010
» Posted by: Tony Catterall
» Service area: Intellectual Property

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Taylors’ I.P. client, Scottish engineering manufacturer Stem Drive Limited, has successfully defended proceedings for royalties allegedly arising under a Patent and Know-How Licence from inventor Don Ellam.

Don Ellam alleged that Stem Drive had been manufacturing mixers (used to assist the decomposition of sewage) in accordance with patents belonging to Mr Ellam and that he was therefore entitled to royalties relating to the sales value of those mixers in accordance with the terms of the Licence.

The claim was defended by Taylors I.P. team, led by Tony Catterall, on the basis that the mixers now manufactured by Stem Drive fell outside of the scope of the Claimant's patents. A single joint expert report was commissioned by the parties in an attempt to resolve the dispute. However, that report was inconclusive given that the case raised complex issues involving the construction and interpretation of the patents which could only be determined by a Judge at trial.

At the trial on 16 April 2010 the Judge dismissed the claim and accepted that the Claimant could not establish that Stem Drive’s mixing systems fell within the scope of the licenced patents.

Stem Drive is delighted by the outcome. Had the Claimant been successful, he would have been entitled to very substantial royalties. Stem Drive’s MD Graham Hind said:

“I take this opportunity to thank Tony Catterall for his guidance and advice during the defence of the case brought against me and Stem Drive Limited. Also, my sincere thanks to Elizabeth Black and Charlotte Barron for their help in the past and at the trial. I am both relieved at the ruling and delighted to have won.”

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