Celador Productions Ltd v Melville: ChD 21 Oct 2004

The applicants each alleged breach of copyright and misuse of confidential information in the format of the television program ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. The defendant appealed a refusal to strike out the claim. It was not contended that no copyright or confidentiality existed, but only that there was no evidence that they had infringed any such right.
Held: As to the first two claims, the appeal succeeded, but the third had a real prospect of success and should be allowed to go to trial. When considering an application for summary judgment the following principles should be applied: (a) the applicant must show that the respondent’s case has no real prospect of success at trial; (b) a ‘real’ prospect of success is one which is more than fanciful and merely arguable; (c) if it is clear beyond question that the respondent will not be able at trial to establish the facts on which he relies then his prospects of success are not real; (d) the court is not entitled, on an application for summary judgment, to conduct a trial on the documents without disclosure or cross-examination.
Sir Andrew Morritt V-C
[2004] EWHC 2362 (Ch)
England and Wales
CitedSwain v Hillman CA 21-Oct-1999
Strike out – Realistic Not Fanciful Chance Needed
The proper test for whether an action should be struck out under the new Rules was whether it had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. There was no justification for further attempts to explain the meaning of what are clear . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
CitedE D and F Man Liquid Products Ltd v Patel and Another CA 4-Apr-2003
The rules contained two occasions on which a court would consider dismissal of a claim as having ‘no real prospect’ of success.
Held: The only significant difference between CPR 24.2 and 13.3(1), is that under the first the overall burden of . .
CitedHenderson v Henderson 20-Jul-1843
Abuse of Process and Re-litigation
The court set down the principles to be applied in abuse of process cases, where a matter was raised again which should have been dealt with in earlier proceedings.
Sir James Wigram VC said: ‘In trying this question I believe I state the rule . .
CitedJohnson v Gore Wood and Co HL 14-Dec-2000
Shareholder May Sue for Additional Personal Losses
A company brought a claim of negligence against its solicitors, and, after that claim was settled, the company’s owner brought a separate claim in respect of the same subject-matter.
Held: It need not be an abuse of the court for a shareholder . .
CitedMehdi Norowzian v Arks Ltd and Guinness Brewing Worldwide Limited (No 2) CA 11-Nov-1999
The claimant film artist showed a film to an advertising agency, who did not make use of it, but later appeared to use techniques and styles displayed in the film in subsequent material sold to third parties.
Held: A film was protected as a . .
CitedAshton and Another v Securum Finance Ltd CA 21-Jun-2000
In the new litigation culture it was correct to strike out a second action which fundamentally re-litigated a case which had previously been struck out on the grounds of abuse of process or delay. The court’s case management required it to consider . .

Cited by:
CitedAllen v Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Another ChD 14-Oct-2010
The claimant sought damages alleging breach of copyright by the defendant author saying she had copied large parts of the claimant’s work in her book ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. The defendant now sought summary judgment, saying the action . .
CitedPickenham Romford Ltd v Deville ChD 31-Jul-2013
The claimant company’s administrators sought an order to have vacated unilateral notices entered against land titles registered to the claimant. The court now gave its reasons for making the order as requested by way of summary relief. The notices . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 April 2021; Ref: scu.216640