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Software and Internet Law


Technical experience and expertise

A number of members of 8 New Square have worked as programmers, commercial software designers and managers of technical software development. We have experience of the following programming languages: VAX and Visual Basic, COBOL, C, C++, Fox Pro, Fortran, Z80 Assembler, Java, Ruby, various 4GLs, XML, SQL and HTML and in the following networking and other protocols: TCP/IP, HTTP and FTP. Cases include: Philips v Salton (ZX80 Assembler), Merck v Dawkins (XML), London and Quadrant v Comino (SQL), Weider Publishing v Highbury House (Apache Tomcat and PHP web application servers and frameworks), Time Group v IBM (hardware interfaces such as graphics accelerators) and Bromcom v Samsung (PCMCIA).

Software patenting

A number of the cases in the difficult and evolving field of patentability of software have been handled by members of Chambers. Examples include: Aerotel v Telco Holdings, Autonomy Corp’s Patent Application, Symbian v C-G and AT &T Knowledge Ventures Patent Application.

Software copyright dispute

Many of us have experience of disputes about copyright infringement of software and related functional fields. Often such cases involve obtaining search or “disclosure forthwith” orders and we have experience in drafting and obtaining such orders and of working with forensic computer specialists so that the terms of the order tie in with essential forensic evidence gathering steps such as hard-disk imaging. Recent high-profile cases have included: Cantor Fitzgerald v Tradition (software for a bond-broking system) and Nova Productions v Mazooma Games (copyright protection relating to video games).

The Internet

The globalisation of information and commerce resulting from the internet has brought new and challenging legal issues – very often in the field of trade marks. Members of Chambers have wide experience in internet-related disputes and are well versed in the technical operation of the internet including HTML metadata and search engine optimisation. Recent cases include: Totalise v Motley Fool (order for disclosure relating to identity of a poster on an internet forum); Reed Executive v Reed Business Group (the leading case on the “invisible” use of trade marks on websites), Phones 4u v Phone4u.co.uk  (cyber-squatting, passing off), Quads4Kids v Campbell (injunctions to prevent abuse of eBay’s VeRO programme by making spurious complaints of design right infringement) and RxWorks v Hunter (use of trade mark as directory name or as domain name).

Domain name disputes

We have long experience of domain name disputes and have acted in many of the leading passing off and trade mark infringement disputes concerning domain names and “cyber squatters” including BT v One in a Million and Global Project Management v Citigroup. We also have experience of the Nominet and ICANN dispute resolution procedures.