Temple Island Collection Limited -v- (1) New English Teas Limited (2) Nicholas John Houghton – Paten

Temple Island Collection Limited -v- (1) New English Teas Limited (2) Nicholas John Houghton – Patents County Court

The matter concerned a case management conference in which HHJ Birss QC dismissed the claimant’s application to amend its particulars of claim.

The Claim

The claimant claimed that the defendants breached the claimant’s copyright in a photograph of a red Routmaster London bus. The first defendant sold tea which included a picture of a red Routmaster London bus. It was decided that the assessment of whether copyright had been infringed would be an objective comparison between the two photographs.

In October 2010 the claimant found that the defendants were (they say) infringing its copyright in another photograph taken in 2009. Accordingly the claimant sought to amend its pleadings to include this second alleged instance of infringement.


The court found in applying Cobbold -v- Greenwch LBC the approach to amendments to statements of case adopted in the High Court should be the same in the Patents County Court in so far as it does not conflict with the particular circumstances of the Patents County Court procedure (in force from October 2010). Whilst the general approach should be to allow amendment, this would refused in this case.

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