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Ward Hadaway helps choreography group win legal battle

A LEGAL dance-off between a North choreography group and an unauthorised online rival has been won with the help of a regional law firm.

Alex Shiel of Ward Hadaway
Alex Shiel of Ward Hadaway

A LEGAL dance-off between a North choreography group and an unauthorised online rival has been won with the help of a regional law firm.

Carlisle-based Brockbank-Lane Sequence Dance Script Service has, over the last 60 years, produced ‘scripts’ of footsteps for ballroom dancers all over the world to help them practice winning routines.

Covering 41 different dances a year from competitions organised by the leading UK-based dance associations, producing and selling the scripts is a full-time job for Mike and Angela Hayton, who run the company.

However, the couple’s hard work came under threat when it emerged that a New Zealander had been taking the scripts produced by the service, putting them out under his own name and selling them online to dancers across the globe.

Alex Shiel, partner and head of intellectual property at North East law firm Ward Hadaway, took up the case for the company, but initial requests for the competitor to withdraw his products were turned down.

Eventually, after court proceedings which took place after Ward Hadaway worked alongside a New Zealand law firm, he accepted being in the wrong, removed all the scripts from sale and agreed not to infringe Brockbank Lane’s copyright in the future.

Mike Hayton said: “We have subscribers all over the world – in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Asia, Canada, the US and Europe – and we found that our business, particularly in Asia, was being hit by this guy passing our work off as his own and selling it at cut price.”

 

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