F H Brundle v Richard Perry and (1) Betafence Limited (2) Britannia Fasteners Limited, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, 6 March 2014,  EWHC 475 (IPEC), HHJ Hacon
Brundle (a wholesaler of metal products) succeeded in its action under section 70 Patents Act 1977 for groundless threats of patent infringement proceedings. Brundle relied on three letters it had received from Mr Perry (the defendant). In the first letter, Mr Perry stated that a product sold by Brundle infringed his patent for a fence bracket and that he intended to take legal proceedings if no amicable solution could be reached regarding paying him his share of the profits. The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) held that each of the letters each constituted a threat of proceedings (section 70(1) and (5)) and Brundle was a “person aggrieved” (section 70(2)). The Court went on to decide that the product did not infringe the patent, and, therefore, Mr Perry’s threats were unjustified and he had no defence under section 70(2A), and his counterclaim for infringement must also be dismissed. The Court further dismissed Mr Perry’s claim for infringement against two third parties, one of which was Brundle’s supplier of the product.