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4 April, 2006 - 17:06 By Staff Reporter

Cambridge Firm to Receive £50,000 in IP Damages

A Danish publisher has been forced to pay £50,000 damages for infringement of the intellectual property rights of Cambridge based human resources firm, Belbin Associates.

The case was heard in the Danish courts, which found that publisher Børsen Forlag had infringed Belbin's rights to its Belbin Self Perception Inventory (SPI) by publishing without consent.

The court instructed Børsen Forlag to pay Potential ApS, the official Belbin distributor in Denmark, costs as well as damages.

The SPI questionnaires were created as part of the Belbin Team Roles® concept by Dr Meredith Belbin after he and his team of researchers had studied the behaviour of managers from all over the world.

Their different personality traits, intellectual styles and behaviours were assessed and clusters of behaviour underlying the success of the teams identified. These successful clusters of behaviour are known as ‘Belbin Team Roles.’

Nigel Belbin, managing partner of Belbin Associates in the UK said: “This is our first copyright to go to trial. We take our intellectual property very seriously and this case serves as a precedent for the future. I am delighted with the result.”

Niel Ackermann, a solicitor at Cambridge law firm, Hewitsons, who advises Belbin on their intellectual property rights said: “In the past couple of years we have taken action in the UK against more than 25 infringers of Belbin’s rights and recovered damages and costs of tens of thousands of pounds together with undertakings that they will not be infringed again.

"There appears to be a mistaken belief that, because the SPI appears in a book, it can be copied for any purpose. Hopefully, this Danish decision will persuade others that this is not the case.”

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