The High Court battle over ownership of the Rabbit telepoint logo was
dramatically postponed this week by the depressive illness that has
tormented Hook Advertising’s Chris Joseph for 16 years.
As top copyright lawyers assembled before Mrs Justice Arden to open what
may be a landmark case, Joseph was with his psychiatrist at Kingston
General Hospital and too ill to take part in the proceedings, the court
With a major delay threatening to cause administrative chaos, the judge
ordered the case to be adjourned until Monday, subject to a medical
report this Friday that Joseph was fit to take part. She also ruled that
Joseph should be allowed to give evidence over several short periods to
ease the strain on him.
The hearing is the culmination of a long dispute between Joseph and
Hutchison Personal Communications over the logo and is likely to
establish a precedent on agencies’ rights to their creative ideas
(Campaign, last week).
Throughout the legal wrangle, Joseph, a past president of the Manic
Depressive Fellowship, has battled with depressive illness, a legacy of
the 1977 industrial accident in which he lost his right arm.
The judge also agreed to a request by Mark Platts-Mills QC, for
Hutchison, that the case should be split in two. She will rule on
Hutchison’s application that copyright of the logo should be assigned to
it. There will be a separate hearing on Joseph’s claim for damages over
Hutchison’s alleged unauthorised use of the logo, which he created.
Platts-Mills told the judge that Hook had come to regard the copyright
case as a cause celebre for the ad industry. But he added: ‘Whether this
is Mr Joseph’s hype or that of the ad business I don’t know.’