In a recent decision (case no. 4A_142/2013), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had to decide whether one of the non-permanent judges of the Swiss Federal Patent Court, a Swiss patent attorney, was obliged to recuse himself due to activities of one of his colleagues in his patent law firm in connection with a trademark matter of a company affiliated with one of the parties of the pertinent patent dispute. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court took the opportunity and established a high standard to ensure the independence and integrity of the non-permanent judges of the Swiss Federal Patent Court.
The case at hand concerned the conflict between the Swiss retailer Denner and the patentee of the Nespres [...]
Ex parte measures are rather difficult to obtain in patent matters in Switzerland (except from evidence-protection measures). Nevertheless, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had the opportunity to opine on this subject in a recent decision dated 21 August 2013. Although this case will become better known because it was the first time that the first instance, the Swiss Federal Patent Court, had to deal with the doctrine of equivalence (and affirmed an infringement by equivalent means, see the preliminary decision of the Federal Patent Court here), it is also worth to analyze the requirements of ex parte measures in Switzerland.
In the case at hand, the patentee was informed in December 2012 by [...]
Earlier this year the Federal Patent Court published its annual report for the business year 2012. The report provides an overview of the businesses and procedures during the new Swiss Patent Court’s first year.
The number of cases which was submitted to the Federal Patent Court in its first business year corresponded to the expectations. In total, 43 ordinary and eleven summary procedures were brought before the Court. However, most of these incoming procedures were already pending cases that reached the Court through reference by the cantonal tribunals and not through direct submission by the parties. 32 ordinary and five summary procedures were referred to the Federal Patent Court since [...]
In a recent decision (case no. 4A_443/2012) the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had to deal with a dispute between the German Robert Bosch GmbH, which filed suit against the Swiss Federal Confederation based on the Swiss portion of EP 0 741 373. The decision exclusively focuses on the question whether the Swiss Federal Patent Court has jurisdiction to decide Robert Bosch’s injunction and damages claims. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed that the new Swiss Federal Patent Court is exclusively competent to decide Robert Bosch’s permanent injunction against the Swiss Federal Confederation. However, the Federal Supreme Court stated that the Federal Patent Court is not competent to decid [...]
Ensuring the independence and integrity of its judges is crucial for every court system.
After its first year of existence, the Swiss Federal Patent Court has slightly amended its Guidelines on Independence for the part-time judges of the Federal Patent Court. However, those guidelines have proven to be very useful in practice.
It is interesting to compare these guidelines with Article 7 of the planned Statute of the Unified Patent Court, which also concerns the impartiality of the judges of the new Unified Patent Court.
Since both court systems are based on a pool of judges, including part-time judges, both systems have to deal with the possible conflicts of interest of those judges.
To ens [...]
In a recent decision the new Swiss Federal Patent Court confirmed that it adheres to the case law with regard of the wording of prayers for relief in Swiss patent proceedings. Unlike in other jurisdictions, plaintiffs in Swiss patent proceedings must be very careful if they just adopt the wording from their patent claims in their prayers for relief. Prayers for relief in Swiss patent proceedings have to orientate themselves to the patent claims but must clearly describe the infringement problem. If the patentee adopts the wording of the patent claims the court is likely to dismiss the case because the infringing object or actions do not seem to be described specifically enough.
The Swiss Cla [...]