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High Court finds that it has no jurisdiction to determine Microsoft damages claim

01/03/17, EU/Competition

In its judgment of 28 February, the High Court has brought to an end Microsoft’s High Court claim for around £1/2 billion in damages against defendants that it alleges participated in a cartel for the sale of mobile phone batteries.

Marcus Smith J held that the claim against Sony Europe Limited, the UK anchor defendant, must be stayed as it fell within the scope of an arbitration agreement between the parties because it was sufficiently closely related to the contractual claims contemplated by that agreement.

Further, the Judge held that Microsoft had failed to satisfy either of the gateways it relied on to serve the remaining defendants out of the jurisdiction.  Given the arbitration agreement between the Claimant and the anchor defendant, there was no “real issue” to which the other defendants were “necessary and proper [parties]” for the purposes of the gateway in para. 3.1(3)(a) of PD6B.  Nor had the Claimant made out any case that it had suffered damage within the jurisdiction for the purposes of the gateway at para. 3.1(9)(a).  The claim advanced by Microsoft was in reality a bundle of individual claims that had been assigned to it by various Nokia subsidiaries.  In seeking to establish that damage had been suffered in the jurisdiction, Microsoft had wrongly proceeded on the basis that it was entitled to aggregate the separate claims rather than establish that each of the Nokia entities whose claims it advanced had suffered loss in England and Wales. 

Finally, the Court found that Microsoft had failed to comply in various respects with its duty to make full and frank disclosure as its evidence in support of its application to serve out of the jurisdiction had fallen “far short” of what was required.

The judgment appears under external links.

Marie Demetriou QC represented LG Chem, the Fourth Defendant.

David Bailey represented Sony Europe Limited and Sony Corporation, the First and Second Defendants.

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