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Moving the SPC Goal Posts or a Necessary Amendment?

It is hard to think of a recent SPC case before the UK courts where the judge has not had to refer questions to the CJEU in order to either clarify the terms of the SPC Regulation or the CJEU’s earlier interpretations.  This necessity has arisen at an early stage in an action between Actavis and Boehringer Ingelheim before the High Court of England & Wales ([2013] EWHC 2927 (Pat)) concerning the validity of an SPC for a combination product.

Boehringer Ingelheim were the proprietors of EP (UK) 0,502,314 which expired on 30 January 2012. Claim 5 of this patent was said to protect the active ingredient Telmisartan (used for the treatment of hypertension). This is the active ingredient in Bo [...]

Smart Card Patents that were not so Smart

and Carissa Kendall-Palmer

In HTC Corporation v Gemalto SA and HTC Corporation v Gemalto NV [2013] EWHC 1876 (Pat), Mr Justice Birss ruled upon the validity and infringement of two telecommunications patents concerning smart/chip card technology. The Claimant came to the High Court of England and Wales seeking revocation of the patents; the Defendant counterclaimed for infringement.

The 865 patent

The 865 patent, entitled ‘Using a High Level Programming Language with a Microcontroller’, was said to relate to using a high level programming language with a smart card or microcontroller. Gemalto contended that claims 1, 3, 8, 9, 15 and 18 were independently valid, and save for claim 9, they [...]

Drawing the line between a threat of infringement proceedings and providing factual information

Section 70 of the UK’s 1977 Patents Act “the Act” (as shown below) creates a cause of action against a party that issues groundless threats of patent infringement:

(1) Where a person (whether or not the proprietor of, or entitled to any right in, a patent) by circulars, advertisements or otherwise threatens another person with proceedings for any infringement of a patent, a person aggrieved by the threats (whether or not he is the person to whom the threats are made) may, subject to subsection (4) below, bring proceedings in the court against the person making the threats, claiming any relief mentioned in subsection (3) below.

(4) Proceedings may not be brought under this section f [...]

UK FRAND Update

And Carissa Kendall-Palmer

This piece follows from two previous postings to this blog by Robert Lundie Smith on the Nokia/HTC/IPCom FRAND litigation before the High Court of England and Wales (here and here). This latest update, for which Robert is joined by colleague Carissa Kendall-Palmer, explains how the joint trial of FRAND issues in the aforementioned actions has been kicked into the long grass, potentially never to be found again; and how a further opportunity for the High Court to consider such issues, in an action between Vringo Infrastructure Inc. (“Vringo”) and ZTE (UK) Limited & ZTE Corporation (together “ZTE”), has also been delayed until after the court has had the opp [...]

High Court builds up momentum to determine FRAND Licensing terms (PART 2)

On 12 February I posted the first of two notes on the forthcoming joint FRAND trial arising out of actions between IPCom and Nokia (Claim No: HC 10 C01233) and HTC and IPCom (Claim HC 11 C02064), both in relation to IPCom’s European Patent EP 1,841,268 (the ‘268). In the first posting I concentrated on the IPCom v Nokia action and how the potential of a FRAND trial arose. In this second posting I explain how this became a joint trial with the HTC action and then set out the further progress of both matters towards a final hearing on this important issue.

The relationship between the HTC/IPCom case and the Nokia/IPCom case is summed up in a judgement of Mr Justice Roth of 31 May 2012. [...]

High Court builds up momentum to determine FRAND Licensing terms (PART 1 of 2)

FRAND licensing terms (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) and their impact upon electronics and telecommunications patent litigation is fast becoming a hot topic amongst the patent blogs. One case that has so far slipped under the radar of many commentators is the forthcoming Nokia/HTC/IPCom FRAND trial before the High Court of England and Wales. The trial, according to one judgment of Mr Justice Floyd (6 December 2012) “is going to have to examine for the first time, so far as I am aware, the methodology which it is appropriate to adopt to arrive at a licence which is fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) in respect of a patent which is essential to a telecommunicat [...]

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