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Friday, 31 May 2019

Language Empire appeal thrown out

31 May 2019

Language Empire appeal thrown out
A Rochdale company's appeal against a landmark judgment which ruled in favour of global language service provider, thebigword, has failed. 
In October 2018, the courts awarded substantial damages and costs after Language Empire was found guilty of cybersquatting.
thebigword Group Limited provides specialised language services to many of the top 100 global brands and government organisations such as the Police, NHS Trusts and various large UK Government contracts.
Language Empire Ltd, based in Rochdale, registered four domain names in 2010 similar to those of thebigword, offering translation and interpreting in direct competition with thebigword therefore suggesting they were connected with thebigword. The websites mimicked Linkup’s keywords, copyright and logos over a number of years, generating online enquiries, something which Linkup Mitaka’s legal representatives describe as “just the tip of the iceberg.”
Language Empire and its managing director, Mr Zaman, appealed against the judgement and the Rt Hon. Lord Justice Floyd in the Court of Appeal has refused Language Empire’s appeal, stating, “quite apart from giving dishonest evidence, Mr Zaman had gone to extreme lengths to hide the extent of the infringement. This court would have no basis for interfering with the judge’s factual conclusions.”
Lord Justice Floyd also said: “The judge was faced with the difficult task of attempting to assess damages in the face of the deliberate obfuscation of the applicants.”
Commenting on the decision, CEO of thebigword, Nihat Arkan, said: “At thebigword we are proud of the work we do to deliver the best-in-class language services to our clients.
“We are passionate professionals and truly believe in the power of breaking down barriers to connect, inspire and educate. thebigword cares greatly about our clients and their ambitions and collaborate with them to support their goals and best interests.
“Unfortunately, not all companies in our industry are able to reach these high standards. We are pleased with the Judge’s decision and will continue to provide the respected service for which we have become known.”
In the original decision the judge awarded substantial damages and, in her findings, said the defendants had chosen to “obfuscate and hide the true numbers of enquiries.”
The judge found that the defendant’s case consisted of “a tangled mass of contradictions, inconsistencies, unlikelihoods, implausibilities and untruths.”
In a landmark further ruling on legal costs, the Judge said that the Defendant’s conduct was so exceptional as to amount to an abuse of process, with the effect that the amount to be awarded to the thebigword inclusive of interest amounts to nearly £250,000.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Call for evidence: Use of interpreters in the asylum process

30 May 2019

Call for evidence: Use of interpreters in the asylum process
The Chief Inspector invites anyone with knowledge and experience of the Home Office’s use of interpreters in the asylum process to submit evidence for his next inspection.

Launching the call for evidence David Bolt said:
In my 2019-20 inspection plan I signalled my intention to carry out an inspection of the asylum system as a whole in the latter part of 2019. In advance of this, I planned to examine some discrete elements of the system, and I am now ready to begin an inspection of the Home Office’s use of interpreters in the asylum process. I am inviting bodies with relevant knowledge and expertise, including NGOs, academics, think tanks, faith groups and representative bodies, to write to me by 13 June 2019 with their supporting evidence or case studies they are able to share.
I would also like to receive evidence from individuals, including those who have first-hand experience of the asylum process and have used interpreters during it.

Please email the Chief Inspector: chiefinspector@icibi.gov.uk

Monday, 20 May 2019

Whistleblowing concerns spark interpreter contract change

By Monidipa Fouzder 20 May 2019

Whistleblowing concerns spark interpreter contract change
The main provider of courtroom interpreting to the Ministry of Justice says it is removing a section of its service agreement with interpreters that some believe prevents them from whistleblowing.
The Gazette has learned that concerns about TheBigWord’s interpreting services agreement have been raised with HM Courts & Tribunals Service.
Part of clause 13 in the agreement states: ‘You shall indemnify and keep indemnified us against any liability, loss, damage, cost, claim or expense we suffer or incur as a result of any claims against us for such sums and other claims arising out of you being found to be an employee of or worker of ours.’
The Gazette understands that interpreters had feared being unable to claim protection as whistleblowers under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. In a statement, TheBigWord said: ‘Linguists in our network are freelancers and have the option to accept or decline any job. There is no obligation and no penalty for accepting or declining any job. We reject any suggestion that linguists are restricted in their ability to raise concerns.
‘As part of our ongoing partnership with the MoJ and the linguist community, we regularly carry out linguist-focused summits, and we review our service agreement to ensure it is fair. Based on the feedback received, the highlighted section of clause 13.4 is scheduled to be removed in the next review this summer.’
TheBigWord, headquartered in Leeds, took over from Capita Translation and Interpreting in October 2016 to provide face-to-face interpretation and translation (including telephone and video), and translation and transcription.