Intellectual property (IP) rights are fiercely protected by the courts, and the consequences of breaching them can be severe indeed. In one case, a company which profited from infringing a patent in respect of a novel type of calliper used in racing car disc brakes was ordered to pay more than £490,000 in damages.
The company that owned the patent had established the validity of its patent before the Court of Appeal and had shown that it was infringed by four models of calliper marketed by a competitor.
In those circumstances, the latter was ordered to compensate the company for its lost profits. Damages were also awarded to reflect lost sales of other goods that would have been sold by the company but for the acts of infringement by the competitor.
The total award came to £494,564 before interest.