BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENTERPRISE COURT (Ch.D)
Royal Courts of Justice
Rolls Building, London EC4A 1NL
B e f o r e :
B E T W E E N:
|(1) PHOTOBOOTH PROPS LIMITED|
|(2) LILY'S PRINTS LIMITED||Claimants|
|- and -|
|(1) NEPBH LIMITED|
|(2) QUINN UK HOLDINGS LIMITED|
|(3) CLAIRE QUINN|
|(4) REECE QUINN|
|(5) MICHAEL QUINN|
|(6) YOUR PRINT SUPPLIES LIMITED|
|(7) YOUR PHOTOBOOTH PROPS LIMITED|
|(8) MICHAEL CONNOR QUINN||Defendants|
Jonathan Rodger, instructed by Sintons LLP, for the Defendants
Crown Copyright ©
John Kimbell QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge:
a. Their costs of the part of the claim which has been summarily determined i.e. substance, ownership and infringement of the New Works (the "Determined Part of the Claim");
b. The costs of the Claimants and Defendants' applications to be paid immediately owing to the unreasonable behaviour of the Defendants under CPR 63.26(2);
c. Those application costs to be summarily assessed and off the usual IPEC caps; and
d. The CMC costs to be reserved to trial.
a. Costs of Determined Part of the Claim: £11,970.41 (including court fees of £510)
b. Summary Judgment Application: £7,162.00
c. Strike Out Application: £1,965.61
d. The Security for Costs Application: £6,827.50
44.2 (1) The court has discretion as to
(a) whether costs are payable by one party to another;
(b) the amount of those costs; and
(c) when they are to be paid.
(2) If the court decides to make an order about costs
(a) the general rule is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party; but
(4) In deciding what order (if any) to make about costs, the court will have regard to all the circumstances, including
(a) the conduct of all the parties;
(5) The conduct of the parties includes
(b) whether it was reasonable for a party to raise, pursue or contest a particular allegation or issue;
(c) the manner in which a party has pursued or defended its case or a particular allegation or issue;,,,"
The general rule is that the court should make a summary assessment of the costs
(b) at the conclusion of any other hearing, which has lasted not more than one day, in which case the order will deal with the costs of the application or matter to which the hearing related. If this hearing disposes of the claim, the order may deal with the costs of the whole claim, unless there is good reason not to do so, for example where the paying party shows substantial grounds for disputing the sum claimed for costs that cannot be dealt with summarily.
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the court will reserve the costs of an application to the conclusion of the trial when they will be subject to summary assessment.
(2) Where a party has behaved unreasonably the court may make an order for costs at the conclusion of the hearing.
(3) Where the court makes a summary assessment of costs, it will do so in accordance with Section IV of Part 45.
Costs of an interim application Costs of the case management conference or any other interim hearing will almost always be reserved to the conclusion of the trial (Part 63 rule 26(1)). The most usual exception arises when a party is found to have has behaved unreasonably. In such a case the court may make an order for costs at the conclusion of the hearing, to be paid shortly thereafter. These costs will be awarded in addition to the totality of the capped costs which the receiving party is entitled to at the end of the trial, see Part 45 rule 32.
a. The mere fact that an application fails is not in and of itself evidence that the applicant was unreasonable to bring it.
b. The bringing of a truly groundless application may amount to unreasonable conduct.
c. "Unreasonable conduct" under r.63.26(2) is not concerned with the behaviour or attitude of the parties generally, but rather with their behaviour in and towards the process of the court.
d. Behaviour that only forms part of the general "cut and thrust" of litigation is unlikely to be regarded as unreasonable for the purposes of r.63.26(2).
a. Despite having ample notice of the CMC, as originally listed 7 December 2021, and having been served with a summary judgment application nearly 2 weeks prior to that listing (which should have come as no surprise given correspondence and the notice to admit), the Defendants' response to the service of an application was to threaten issuing four applications and relist the hearing.
b. None of the threatened four applications, of which only two were issued, were consequential on the summary judgment application. There is no reason why they should not have been prepared and issued in good time prior to the CMC as first listed. It is apparent from the timeline of events that the threatened applications were simply a tactical move in retaliation to the Claimant's application to put pressure on the Claimants, and delay matters.
c. Despite the threats of four applications and relisting, the Defendants did not engage at all in relation to the substance of the applications and only issued two of the four applications shortly before the relisted hearing. Evidence was not provided until later and no evidence at all was provided in relation to the strike-out application. The Claimant's learned the Defendants' substantive position only in Counsel's skeleton argument, which advanced a number of unsubstantiated and un-pleaded new arguments.
d. The entirety of the Defendants' approach to this case so far, and particularly in the lead up to the CMC and the applications, has been obstructive and uncooperative.