European Union – Civil and commercial matters. Article 1(1) and (2)(a) of Regulation 44/2001 had to be interpreted as meaning that an action, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, concerning an application for dissolution of the property relationships arising out a de facto (unregistered) partnership, came within the concept of 'civil and commercial matters' within the meaning of art 1(1) of that regulation and fell, therefore, within the material scope of that regulation. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held, among other things, in proceedings concerning the issuance of the certificate referred to in art 53 of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, for the purposes of enforcing a final judgment given against the respondent who had been in an unregistered non-marital partnership with the applicant.
Practice - Civil litigation - Case management – . A district judge had had jurisdiction to set aside her own judgment in circumstances where the judgment had been against a non-attendant entity which had not been a party to the proceedings prior to the hearing. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissing the appeal, held that the non-attendant party had not had the opportunity to give notice of its non-attendance and the district judge had had power under CPR 27.11 to set aside her own judgment.
Libel and slander – Defamatory words. The article complained of in a libel action did not mean that the claimant was one of two people found 'guilty of killing a woman while racing their cars'. No reader of the whole article could reasonably draw that conclusion. The Queen's Bench Division so held and, further, ruled on the meaning of the article complained of in respect of the claimant's behaviour in relation to an incident which had occurred in 2015.
Trade mark – Infringement. The claimant cosmetic companies' claim based upon trade mark infringement and passing off failed. The Chancery Division held that, among other things, there had been no likelihood of confusion and the case for infringement failed. Since there had been no likelihood of confusion, there were no considerations that were relevant under the law of passing off that would lead the court to find that the use of the sign had resulted in a misrepresentation to the average consumer, and hence the claim in passing off failed.
Industrial relations – Trade union membership and activities. Following the rejection of its pay offer to its union member employees, the employer wrote to each employee individually with the terms of its offer. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that that did not fall within the 'prohibited result' provisions of s 145B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992.