Boegli-Gravures SA v (1) Darsail-Asp Ltd (2) Andrei Ivanovich Pyzhov  EWHC 2690
This case is a warning for all directors and shareholders of a company which may be infringing a third party’s intellectual property rights.
This case concerned a patent for embossing foil for packaging. The claimant brought a claim against the company and a director/shareholder of the company on a joint liability basis.
The patent was held to be infringed and that because the director had taken a personal involvement in the act of infringement, outside of his role as a director, that he was jointly liable with the company.
In this case the Defendant had negotiated with the Claimant on a personal level and took the decision to supply the infringing products.
There are two important points to note here:
1) all directors should undertake negotiations on behalf of the company and take important decisions at board level;
2) conversely if bringing infringement action against a company with no assets it may be worth pursuing the directors if they are acting in person and not within the powers given to them by the company.