IPAN Director Mandy Haberman’s experience of patent infringement was selected by Professor David Vaver, keynote speaker, to illustrate Mr Justice Laddie’s intellectual property cases.  Sir Hugh Ian Lang Laddie (1946-2008) was a High Court judge and thought leader in the IP law field with a corpus of case law judgments delivered over three decades.

Source: Creative commons licence

Held annually, the University College London (UCL) Annual Sir Hugh Laddie lecture was chaired by Professor Sir Robin Jacob (UCL).  Professor Vaver of Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto and the University of Oxford (Emeritus)), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Member of the Order of Canada.  He delivered a lively lecture with the curious title, ‘’Mr Justice Laddie and his intellectual property cases: Of millefeuilles and a fish called Elvis’.  The hybrid live event was streamed globally, attracting a large in person audience to UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at the Cruciform Lecture Theatre in London on 22 June.

IPAN Director Jan Denoncourt was an invitee and is delighted to report that when discussing Justice Laddie’s patent cases, Prof Vaver selected Mandy’s patent infringement litigation:  Haberman and V and A Marketing Limited v Jackel International Limited (Pat C 15 Jan 1999).   In fact, discussion of Mandy Haberman’s case closed the lecture with Prof Vaver displaying his Haberman cow design Anywayup® cup as a prop.

Source:  Creative Commons licence

Mandy is the founder and director of Haberman Global Innovations (see www.habermanbaby.com).  She is a renowned product designer and inventor, awarded the British Female Inventor and Innovative Network (BFIN) Female Inventor of the Year 2000.

The famous patent case decided by Sir Hugh Laddie concerned Mandy’s non-spill cup technology (Anywayup®) that revolutionised the global nursery baby feeding products market. Her success has led to copycats including the legal battle against Jackel International Limited (Tommy Tippee® brand).  The patent infringer Jackel had deployed a common tactic, namely arguing that Mandy’s invention was obvious.  Sir Laddie clearly disagreed, deciding in favour of Haberman noting in his judgment,

1) the technology answered a long felt want (i.e. for a cup that sealed automatically and was totally non-spill when out of the child’s mouth;

2) the answer to the problem was simple and the solution had been under the noses of those in the industry – but they hadn’t seen it; and

3) the product achieved rapid commercial success.

Therefore, Mandy’s invention wasn’t obvious.  Justice Laddie concluded, ‘The development was sufficiently inventive to deserve monopoly protection.’

Since then, Mandy has accrued over 30 years’ experience safeguarding her valuable IP rights.  She is recognised authority on corporate theft and patent infringement, going on to successfully defend her own IP beyond the UK in the USA and Europe – see www.mandyhaberman.com.

During the Q&A session, fellow Jan was proud to mention Mandy’s ongoing work with IPAN and the Global Women’s Inventors and Innovators (GlobalWIIN) to an audience mainly of academics and practitioners.  Professor Vaver said he had the great pleasure of serving on an IP Committee with Mandy an inventor with extensive IP expertise in her own right.    Mandy explains to entrepreneurs:

Must have innovation, combined with ‘wow’ factor design is the secret of success, but the serious commercial value lies with your IP.  As an inventor, it is important to understand how the patent system works and to do as much as you can to protect your IP before you share information. I knew the AnyWayUpCup® had great commercial potential, so I spent a lot on intellectual property rights, registering patents in all my strategic markets – but it paid off! My patents held up. By protecting my ideas, I was finally able to secure my position in the market and reap benefits from years of hard work. The AnyWayUpCup® technology revolutionised the nursery market.  Valved cups are now the standard worldwide.  I would have lost everything if I had allowed people to continue infringing. 

The above material was originally published in J Denoncourt et al publication Degree shows & Displaying Your Creative Work (2016) pp22-23.

Associate Professor Dr Janice Denoncourt

28 June 2022