Grisbrook v MGN Ltd and Others: ChD 16 Oct 2009

The claimant sought an order committing officers of the defendant company for having failed to obey a court order requiring the defendant to cease infrigement of his copyright in photographs. He operated as a photographer of celebrities selling photographs to newspapers. There was no formal agreement between the parties for the use of his photographs. After the compromise of a court action many of his photographs had been removed from the defendant’s photo library, but the defendant continued to publish them on its web-site, and on the front pages of older editions offered for sale. The defendant denied that electronic reproduction of front page infringed the claimant’s right.
Held: Committal was refused, but a declaration granted. The license granted must allow the newspapers to manage storage of old editions, including electronic storage of them. This was in essence a contractual dispute as to the terms of the licence granted by the claimant, and such disputes were not best resolved by the use of committal proceedings.
A respondent who on advice and in good faith maintains that the conduct complained of does not amount to an infringement should not ordinarily be penalised by a fine or sequestration in the event of failure merely because the applicant has chosen to use committal proceedings rather than to bring an ordinary claim in order to resolve the infringement issue.

Patten LJ
[2009] EWHC 2520 (Ch), [2011] ECDR 4, [2011] Bus LR 599
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 17(2)
England and Wales
CitedRobin Ray v Classic FM Plc PatC 18-Mar-1998
Contractor and Client Copyrights
The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract.
Held: A Joint authorship claim required that the contributor had made some direct . .
CitedAttorney General of Belize and others v Belize Telecom Ltd and Another PC 18-Mar-2009
(Belize) A company had been formed to manage telecommunications in Belize. The parties disputed the interpretation of its articles. Shares had been sold, but the company was structured so as to leave a degree of control with the government. It was . .
CitedAshdown v Telegraph Group Ltd CA 18-Jul-2001
The appellant complained that a part of his confidential diaries had been republished without his consent by the defendant newspaper group. The defendant appealed, saying that the publication was fair dealing.
Held: The exceptions within the . .
CitedMultiform Displays v Whitmarley Displays CA 1956
Though contempt proceedings must remain a possibility whilst any injunction is running, this procedure is an undesirable and highly inconvenient way of resolving patent infringement disputes. . .
CitedRobertson v Thomson Corporation 12-Oct-2006
CSC (Supreme Court of Canada) Intellectual property – Copyright – Infringement – Right to reproduce work – Newspaper publishers reproducing in databases and CD-ROMs articles by freelance and staff writers . .
CitedMultiform Displays v Whitmarley Displays HL 1957
The claimant appealed against refusal of a committal order to enforce a court order in patent infringement proceedings.
Held: Viscount Simonds said: ‘Thus it is, my Lords, that upon what was a motion for sequestration and committal your . .
CitedDyson Appliances Ltd v Hoover Ltd PatC 5-Apr-2001
The claimant had obtained injunctive relief against the defendant for patent infringement. Only twelve months of the patent remained, and the claimants applied for an extension of the injunction twelve months beyond the patent expiry, and for other . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Intellectual Property

Updated: 12 November 2021; Ref: scu.376149