By Gregory Bacon Yes, you read that right. Thirteen years after the House of Lords had firmly shut the door on any notion of a doctrine extending the scope of patent protection outside the claims, the UK Supreme Court in yesterday’s judgment in Actavis v Eli Lilly [2017] UKSC 48 reversed gear and reintroduced a…

The search for a successor of Benoît Battistelli as president of the European Patent Organisation has started in full with the publication of a vacancy notice on the EPO website. It is obvious from the text that the controversial Battistelli, whose term in office ends in June 2018, has no chances to stay on. According…

The European Patent Office amends its Regulations in order to exclude from patentability plants and animals exclusively obtained by an essentially biological breeding process. The decision, during the 152st meeting of the Administrative Council of the EPO, came after years of discussion and decisions to the contrary by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in the so-called Broccoli-II…

Another significant delay – or even more substantial – trouble seems to be ahead of the Unitary Patent system, due to today’s decision of the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in Karlsruhe. The Bundesverfassungsgericht has requested the German President not to sign the bills already approved by Bundestag and Bundesrat on the ratification of the Unitary…

Germany has unfortunately no Fordham conference where an impressive number of eminent IP scholars, judges and practitioners, including even representatives of the EPO, get together once every year to discuss the state of the patent universe and future developments. However, Germany does luckily at least have its Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in…

A new president of the European Patent Organisation, the person who will succeed the controversial president Benoît Battistelli in June 2018, will be chosen this autumn. That is the expectation of Martijn van Dam, Dutch secretary of state for Economic Affairs. Van Dam said this in a debate last week with parliament on the ‘deteriorating…

by Steven Willis Given the furore surrounding Birss J’s decision on the non-technical issues in Unwired Planet v Huawei earlier this month, which included the first determination of FRAND terms by an English Court (reported on by my colleague Rachael here), it would have been easy to miss the first appellate Court judgment on the…

by Nicholas Round At the start of this month, the UK Supreme Court took a break from its recent post-Brexit work interpreting (and developing) constitutional principles to hear an intellectual property matter. This rare Supreme court foray for a patent produced a ripple of excitement across the UK IP litigation community not least because (uniquely…

The duration of proceedings before the Boards of Appeal (BoA) currently is the EPO’s biggest problem in regard to speed. According to the latest Annual Report by the Boards of Appeal, the average length of inter partes proceedings is 37 months (up 1 month from 2015), i.e. more than three years. In 2016, two appeals…

Early certainty in opposition proceedings is clearly a desirable objective, and the President’s commitment to lowering the average duration of (normal) opposition proceedings to 15 months on the average deserves praise. In our experience, the new commitment has already started to result in that the summons to oral proceedings are issued sooner and that the…