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Mollusc patent litigation: going back in time

For those who thought that patent litigation was only relevant for big pharma or cutting-edge telecom devices, it may be of interest to learn about a relatively recent judgment from the Court of Appeal of A Coruña that has resolved a fierce dispute around patents protecting mollusc cleaning machines. A Coruña is one of the main cities on the coast of Galicia, one of the gastronomic paradises of European seafood lovers. So it is not surprising that the dispute revolved around four machines that the defendant had acquired for the purpose of cleaning molluscs.

In its judgment of 11 September 2014, the Court of Appeal of A Coruña dismissed the appeal filed by the owner of two patents that pro [...]

Recent judgment sheds further light on the “imminence” imbroglio

Rather ironically, Directive 2004/48/EC (the “Enforcement Directive”), which was meant to enhance the protection of intellectual property rights throughout the European Union (“EU”), had just the opposite effect, at least in one aspect. As the readers know well, the Directive requires the applicant of a preliminary injunction to prove that an act of infringement is “imminent.” The introduction of this “imminency” requirement, which was not a condition for granting a preliminary injunction in some EU member states, has since then caused national courts to struggle to try to untangle the exact boundaries of this requirement.
In a post published on 2 July 2013, we discussed a Ruling handed down [...]

Recent judgment from Court of Appeal of Navarre illustrates that launching at risk can be a painful gardening experience

Many readers, particularly those based on one of the islands to the Northwest of the Canal de La Manche, will remember the famous metaphor used by then Justice Robin Jacob in his Decision of 23 October de 2001 (paroxetine):

The defendants could, so soon as they settled upon the product they were intending to sell, have caused the litigation to start. They could have done a number of things: First, they could have launched a petition for the revocation of the patent and started a claim for a declaration of non-infringement. Or, since there are certain difficulties with the latter (for example onus of proof goes the other way round), they could simply have said to the patentees, “We intend (w [...]

MERRY CHRISTMAS! WAS JESUS’ BIRTH THE FIRST CASE OF “LUCINA SINE CONCUBITU” (PARTHENOGENESIS) IN HISTORY?

On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) published a landmark judgment in Case C-364/13 International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents, in which it gave the following reply to a question referred by the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division (Patents Court), of England and Wales regarding the meaning of “human embryos” in article 6(2) (c) of Directive 98/44/EC: 

Article 6(2)(c) of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions must be interpreted as meaning that an unfertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated [...]

UPC: Advocate General Bot, Philippe Cochet; the good, the bad and the ugly

As the readers will know, on 18 November 2014, Advocate General Yves Bot published his conclusions in cases C-146/13 and C-147/13, whereby he has proposed that the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) reject the nullity actions filed by the Kingdom of Spain against Regulation (EU) 1257/2012 (Enhanced cooperation) and 1260/2012 (Translation arrangements) of 17 December 2012.  One of the legal grounds on which he based his conclusions in case C-147/13 is that, under European Union (“EU”) law, no principle of equality of languages exists.  If this is so, it is a matter of regret that the Advocate General’s  views on this principle did not reach his fellow French politicians who, b [...]

Patentability of biotechnology inventions: “O time thou must untangle this, not I. It is too hard a knot for me to untie”

Although Brian Cordery will try to have you believe that the title of this blog is borrowed from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, it may well have been taken from the Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament dated 14 July 2005 on Development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, where the Commission wrote that:

There is no immediate answer to the question of the patentability of embryonic pluripotent stem cells and indeed at this stage it would appear premature to come to a definitive conclusion. The Commission will continue to monitor developments in this area.”

No additional progress appears to have been made [...]

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