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Belgian Constitutional Court rejects action against UPC ratification

The European patent community and especially the people involved in the preparation of the Unified Patent Court were stirred up in March 2015 by an action launched before the Belgian Constitutional Court. On 10 March 2015 the Belgian non for profit association ESOMA (European Software Market Association) had launched a nullity action against the Belgian law of 27 May 2014 regarding the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. ESOMA had based its action on three pleas. First, ESOMA argued that the ratification of the UPC agreement would lead to a discrimination based on language because the ratification would lead to the applicability of the Regulations on the Unitary Patent a [...]

U.S. Court Sets High Bar For Joint Infringement Of Method Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its remand decision in Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., and this time affirmed the district court decision that Limelight was not liable for infringement of Akamai’s patents because Limelight had not performed each step of the method claims and was not responsible for the actions of its customers. The decision sets a high bar for joint infringement of method claims, requiring a principal-agent relationship, contractual relationship, or joint enterprise to hold a party liable for the actions of another.  

Liability For U.S. Patent Infringement

Liability for U.S. patent infringement is provided for in 35 [...]

A view on Unified Patent Court predictability: uncertainty is no reason to opt out, wait and see

Concerns that inexperienced judges will do unpredictable or crazy things at the Unified Patent Court are exaggerated, according to Bird & Bird partner Wouter Pors. Last month he gave a lecture to future UPC judges at the Budapest Training Centre as part of a week of training on the issue of infringement. He wrote this guest post for Kluwer IP Law.

By Wouter Pors

unified patent courtOn 5 May the Court of Justice rejected the Spanish appeals against the two Regulations relating to the Unitary Patent, which removed the last hurdle for the start of both the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. Proposals for Unitary Patent renewal fees and for Court fees have meanwhile been published. There is still a lot of [...]

T 2130/11 or how to escape the added matter – clarity trap for disclaimers

In T 2130/11 the Board held that a disclaimer removing more than strictly necessary to restore novelty would not be in contradiction with the spirit of G 1/03 if it was required to satisfy Article 84 EPC and it did not lead to an arbitrary reshaping of the claims.

‘Opt-out fee for future Unified Patent Court is (unsurprisingly) much too high’

The €80 opt-out fee for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as proposed by the Preparatory Committee will be a very heavy burden for hard-pressed patent departments.  They are being asked to pay a significant fee for NOT using the new system. ’How perverse can this be?’ says Bristows partner Alan Johnson in answer to questions by Kluwer IP Law about the consultation document on UPC fees, which was published last week.

‘The worst (but least surprising) proposal is the opt-out fee of €80. Many users are looking forward to the new system and will not opt out their existing European patent portfolio.  But it is a cornerstone of the agreement that they are entitled to do so.  Hence levyin [...]

Will Danish courts adopt a more holistic approach on claim construction?

In a recent Supreme Court decision from Denmark (Dansk Mink Papir vs. Jasopels A/S), the Supreme Court rendered a decision which could mark the inauguration of a more holistic approach by Danish courts in their assessment of patent protective scope.

The invention concerned a so-called pelt bag developed by Dansk Mink Papir which had also developed two machines for bags keeping in place mink fur on the pelt. The invention consisted in fat and moisture absorbing bags, extending to at least 1/3 of the holding area as opposed to the prior art which described only fat absorption explicitly, but moisture absorption only implicitly and with bags covering more than 1/3 of the holding area, so-called [...]

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