Clyde & Co to open new office
The intellectual property practice of Clyde & Co is expanding its Middle East capabilities with a new direct filing office in Muscat, Oman. The move follows the opening of a similar office in Bahrain last August and extends its direct filing capabilities across the Gulf Cooperation Council region which will have a unified trade mark law later this year. The Muscat office will open in March and is located close to the Oman Trade Mark and Patent Offices.
Proposed change to law exams in UK could damage solicitors
Smaller law firms in the UK could be disadvantaged if the Solicitors Qualifying Examination is introduced offering lawyers a new way to qualify. Legal academic Anthony Bradney of Keele University says that it could lead to a weakening of the reputation of solicitors and allow barristers to claim higher levels of qualification. The Law Society Gazette reports that the Bar Standards Council is considering raising the threshold of degrees required to take its training course which would add further disparity between barristers and solicitors.
Blurred Lines copyright case losers dispute legal fees
The copyright infringement case against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams may have been concluded but the duo is now disputing the court’s awarding of fees. The pair’s unauthorised use of part of a Marvin Gaye song for their worldwide hit Blurred Lines resulted in $5.3 million being awarded to the Gaye family along with half of all future royalties. In January the Motown legend’s heirs claimed legal fees and expenses of $3.5 million. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thicke and Pharrell’s lawyer Howard King argues that “If ever there was a case where the close nature of the dispute, the novel legal issues, and the important matters at stake merited denial of fees, this is that case.” The Gaye’s lawyer Richard Busch countered that the defendants had asked the court to award fees if they won so should not now be arguing against just because they lost.
Employment case settled on worker who didn’t show up for 6 years
A worker in Spain has been fined after a court heard that he hadn’t turned up for work for 6 years. Construction supervisor Joaquin Garcia argued that he had turned up to find there was nothing for him to do but kept quiet rather than raise the issue as he feared he wouldn’t find another job. Legal action was brought against the 69 year old in 2010 claiming that he had not done any work since 2004. His absence was only discovered when he could not be tracked down to receive a 20-year long service award. The court fined Garcia €27,000.