The hearings at the Patent Court under Judge Birss have been most interesting for followers of the filesharer harassment story. If you’re not familiar with this story this commentary will help before the story continues.
In that post I wrote:
Even the courts were getting tired of the demands of companies like ACS:Law, as Chief Master Winegarten warned. Now we have the Judicial Review into this Act. This was coming; it’s a pity the ISPs didn’t put up more of a battle earlier or this may have come a lot earlier.
Now Chief Master Winegarten’s warning has come to pass with disastrous results for Andrew Crossley and ACS:Law, all thanks to Judge Birss QC.
Last December, Judge Birss QC sat in the England and Wales Patents County Court (PCC) and dismissed a bid by ACS:Law to get default judgements against eight people for alleged copyright infringement. Judge Birss then decided to convene one sitting of the PCC to consider twenty seven cases brought by ACS:Law in what he described as “an unusual step” in an unusual case.
At that sitting Judge Birss rejected an application by ACS:Law to have the cases dropped and adjourned the hearing until yesterday. It was at the reconvened hearing yesterday that things went even more pear shaped for Andrew Crossley and ACS:Law.