Wragge & Co IP litigators secure Supreme Court result for Contour Aerospace
Wragge & Co's Intellectual Property (IP) team has secured a significant Supreme Court result for Contour Aerospace in its high-profile patent case against Virgin Atlantic. The court has awarded Contour the right to appeal a Court of Appeal decision which found it infringed the patent of Virgin's upper class aircraft seat.
Contour's long-running IP battle began in 2008 when Virgin sued the company for patent and design right infringement. Although Contour won the first hearing in the Patent Court, Virgin was successful in its appeal. The Supreme Court ruling means that instead of being only weeks away from a possible damages bill, Contour has the opportunity to appeal the decision and potentially avoid damages payments completely.
Partner Gordon Harris led the case, supported by consultant David Gibbins and solicitor Olivia Harris. The team worked closely with Supreme Court specialist Sir Sydney Kentridge QC, Mark Vanhegan QC and junior barrister Brian Nicholson.
Gordon Harris said: "This is a significant result which turns this case around for Contour. Virgin has challenged Contour on many fronts, but we have taken a persistent approach to getting the right result for our client. The team's technical expertise and experience of the use of patents across multiple territories were critical in achieving this latest ruling. Facing a damages bill that could have amounted to tens of millions of pounds, the latest outcome is crucial for Contour."
Contour commercial director Derek Weston added: "Contour warmly welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court and thanks its whole legal team for the diligent and professional way that it has conducted matters in this complex and protracted matter. We have long felt that there is no option but to continue the vigorous defence of our reputation and remain confident we will ultimately prevail. While it is undeniable that the impact on the business has been very significant over the years, our resolve to see it through is undimmed."
An aircraft interior supplier, Contour designs and manufactures high-specification seating and cabin products. Virgin Atlantic is Britain's second largest airline, flying to 30 destinations worldwide. Wragge & Co has acted for Contour (formerly Premium Aircraft Interiors UK Ltd) throughout the case. DLA Piper advised Virgin Atlantic.
Wragge & Co's 42-lawyer IP team acts for some of the world's largest companies including Birds Eye, British Airways and Dyson. Advising on all aspects of IP, the cross-border team includes dedicated experts in Guangzhou, Munich, Paris and the UK.
Highlights so far this year include a High Court win for Hasbro in a high-profile trade mark case concerning its Play-Doh brand. Just weeks later, the team secured a High Court victory for building solutions manufacturer Kingspan in a trade mark and advertising dispute with Rockwool Limited. In the Chinese courts, the team won a design infringement case against China-based manufacturer Yongkang Yixuan, relating to Dyson's Air Multiplierô fan.
For further information about this press release, contact Kathryn Hobbs on +44 (0)121 685 2785, Rebecca Davies on +44 (0)121 685 3819, Gayle Biddle on +44 (0)121 685 2708 or Amy Richards on +44 (0)121 260 9973
This press release may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.