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Mercedes loses application for Summary Judgement

Written by Michael Coyle on 10 June 2009

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Mercedes loses application for Summary Judgement

Mercedes owns (amongst things) various trademarks. The Sany Group Limited the Defendant was the user of the following logo

 

 

Mercedes applied for Summary Judgment on the basis of its famous logo

 

 

However if failed in its application as the court did consider there to be triable issues.

 

CPR 24.2 provides as follows:

The court may give summary judgment against a ...defendant on the whole of a claim or on a particular issue if-

(a) it considers that

(i) ....

(ii) that defendant has no real prospect of successfully defending the claim or issue; and

(b) there is no other compelling reason why the case or issue should be disposed of at trial.

In short summary judgment may not be given in circumstances where it cannot be regarded as clear without recourse to a trial what the outcome of the claim or issue must be. In this instance there cannot be any degree of certainty as to the outcome.

In Doncaster Pharmaceuticals Group Ltd v. The Bolton Pharmaceutical Company 100 Ltd Mummery LJ emphasised the following points

"In handling all applications for summary judgment the court's duty is to keep considerations of procedural justice in proper perspective. Appropriate procedures must be used for the disposal of cases. Otherwise there is a serious risk of injustice...."

And

"It is well settled by the authorities that the court should exercise caution in granting summary judgment in certain kinds of case. The classic instance is where there are conflicts of fact on relevant issues, which have to be resolved before a judgment can be given. A mini-trial on the facts conducted under CPR Pt 24 without having gone through normal pre-trial procedures must be avoided, as it runs a real risk of producing summary injustice"

And

"In my judgment, the court should also hesitate about making a final decision without a trial where, even though there is no obvious conflict of fact at the time of the application, reasonable grounds exist for believing that a fuller investigation into the facts of the case would add to or alter the evidence available to a trial judge and so affect the outcome of the case." .

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