February 23, 2022

Daniel Weinger and Robert Sweeney of Mintz review the recent Federal Circuit decision in Uniloc USA, Inc. et al. v. Apple, Inc., where a 2-1 panel ruled that the district court had abused its discretion by refusing to seal certain patent-licensing documents provided by the plaintiffs. They warn that, going forward, patent owners who use litigation funding, and such litigation funders, should be mindful of the potential pitfalls surrounding communications between the patent owner and funder to ensure that appropriate trade secret protection is retained.
Ronan Guyomarc'h, Janette McLennan and Christopher Smith of Clyde & Co analyse the first successful application for contingency fees made in an Australian shareholder class action after the Supreme Court of Victoria approved an application for a group costs order (GCO). The team predicts that there will be a rise of greater competition between law firms prepared to act on a contingency fee basis on the one hand and litigation funders on the other. They expect the decision to add to the popularity of the Supreme Court of Victoria as a venue for class actions and give rise to ‘forum shopping’ between that Court and the Federal Court.
Lesley Hannah, Kio Gwilliam and Sofie Edwards of Hausfeld share that recently, in separate proceedings, both Apple and Google have lost in quick succession early bids to access sensitive information relating to the funding of the collective actions which allege abuses of dominance in relation to their respective app stores and argue that, in determining these issues, the Tribunal has struck the correct balance between the need for transparency in collective proceedings whilst also affording proposed class representatives with the necessary level of confidentiality in respect of their funding arrangements so as not to prejudice their prospects of success.
A federal judge has denied in full a discovery request by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to subpoena documents from plaintiffs in the Zantac multidistrict litigation, with the judge stating that he had “serious questions” regarding the relevance of the evidence being subpoenaed. Among other things, GSK was looking to find out how the plaintiff was funded and by whom.
London’s specialist competition court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal, on Friday gave the green light to a class action on behalf of millions of motorists and businesses, who bought or leased a new car between October 2006 and September 2015, to claim against 5 shipping companies that imported cars into Europe. The class action is one of the first of its kind to be filed in the UK and is estimated to be worth around £150m in damages for car buyers. Woodsford is backing the claim.
Anglo-Spanish family trust Swifthold Foundation and its backer Delta Capital Partners have initiated a $6 billion international arbitration claim against the Qatari government stemming from a case against a member of the country’s ruling family. To date, the trust has failed to secure compensation through the local courts over a property investment scheme that went sour involving Sheikh Fahd Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Thani and his company Fast Trading Group.

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