Isobel 5Running from Monday 29 until Tuesday 30 April 2013 is the matter of Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd (formerly known as Contour Aerospace Ltd). The appellant company manufactures airline seats, particularly a seating system that can be laid flat for first and business class passengers.  The respondent airline holds a patent for a seat that performs a similar function but differs in that the seat has to be flipped forward rather than reclining completely. The issues for the Supreme Court are whether the Court of Appeal decision in Unilin was correct; specifically whether in situations where a UK court has found that a defendant has infringed a European Patent and has ordered an inquiry as to damages, and where before the inquiry has been concluded, that patent has been amended by the European Patent Office so that the claims found by the court to have been infringed are deemed never to have existed in their unamended form, is the defendant liable to pay damages for the said infringement?

In Courtroom 2 over Monday and Tuesday are the Scottish appeals of O’Neill (No 2) v Her Majesty’s Advocate and Lauchlan v Her Majesty’s Advocate. In 1998 the appellants were detained and questioned by police in relation to a suspected killing. They were later convicted of the murder in 2010. The challenge to the Supreme Court is based on the first instance judge’s description of them before the commencement of their trial as ““dangerous and evil sexual predators of the worst kind”, and the delay in prosecuting them. The issues for consideration are whether, for the purposes of their right to a trial within a reasonable time in accordance with ECHR art 6, the appellants were “charged” in 1998; and whether the judge’s remarks prior to the commencement of the trial were such as to lead a fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real possibility of bias on the part of the trial judge.

Listed for two days from Wednesday 1 May 2013 is the appeal of Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC v AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP. The parties in this matter entered into a concession agreement, which contained an arbitration clause governed by English law. This clause was ruled invalid by a Kazakhstani court. Following a dispute, the appellant issued proceedings against the respondent in Kazakhstan, and after filing a defence the respondent was granted an interim anti-suit injunction against the appellant in a UK court. The appellant challenged the validity of the injunction, submitting that the UK court had no jurisdiction to intervene in the absence of arbitration proceedings in the UK. The Court of Appeal upheld the injunction, and the Supreme Court will determine whether the English court had jurisdiction to grant the anti-suit injunction pursuant to the general power under the Senior Courts Act 1981 s 37, in circumstances where no arbitration was intended or in prospect in this jurisdiction.

On Wednesday 1 May 2013 the Supreme Court will hand down judgment in the following: R (Faulkner) v Secretary of State for Justice & Anor, R (Faulkner) v Secretary of State for Justice & The Parole Board and R (Sturnham) v The Parole Board; WHA Ltd & Anor v HMRC; and R (ClientEarth) v The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

There are no hearings listed in the Privy Council this week.


The following Supreme Court judgments remain outstanding:

Hayes v Willoughby, heard 17 January 2013.

SL v Westminster City Council, heard 28 – 29 January 2013.

The President of the Methodist Conference v Preston, heard 13 – 14 February 2013.

Ministry of Defence v Smith & Ors, heard 18 – 21 February 2013.

BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Neuberger Berman Europe Ltd (on behalf of Sealink Funding Ltd & Ors), BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Patron EMF S.A.R.L., and BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Eurosail-UK 2007- 3BL PLC, heard 25 – 26 February 2013.

In the Matter of B (a Child), heard 25 – 26 February 2013.

Benedetti v Sawiris & Ors, heard 26 – 28 February 2013.

Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors v Prest, heard 5 – 6 March 2013.

R v Brown, heard 7 March 2013.

Futter & Anor v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and Pitt & Anor v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, heard 12 – 14 April 2013.

Abela & Ors v Baadarani, heard 10 – 11 April 2013.

Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v Marks and Spencer PLC, heard 15 April 2013.

Booth v The Parole Board, Osborn v The Parole Board and In the matter of an application of Reilly for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland), heard 16 – 18 April 2013.

Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland v Elliott and Public Prosecution Service v McKee, heard 22 April 2013.

Cusack v London Borough of Harrow, heard 23 April 2013.

Vestergaard Frandsen A/S (now called mvf3 Apps) & Ors v Bestnet Europe Ltd & Ors, heard 24 April 2013.