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Fordham Conference 2015 – Opening and IP in China

The 23rd Annual Fordham Intellectual Property Law and Policy Conference 2015 has kicked off with opening remarks from Hugh Hansen from Fordham University School of Law, New York, reminding everyone to learn, debate and have fun!

David J Kappos has started the panel debate on the state of IP in China with a story about the reality of the concerted theft of intellectual property by companies in China. He contrasted this with concerted efforts by big business in China to improve the protection of their IP and that this bodes well for an improving situation in China, which he characterised as complex.

He noted that patent applications in China now exceed all other jurisdictions. One reason given [...]

Want to revoke a patent? Call the inventor

The Italian Supreme Court recently (and surprisingly) said that inventors must be named as co-defendants in revocation actions.

In 2010 I wrote a post concerning the requirement to name inventors as co-defendants in Italian revocation actions. I reported that the Court of Appeal of Milan had established a principle whereby named inventors had to be called in revocation actions and, if they were not, proceedings could not reach the stage of decision. This was based on the then in place provision of Article 122 (4) of the of Italian IP Code, according to which “Any action aimed at the revocation of an industrial property title shall be brought against all persons listed in the register as r [...]

Genveraenderungen, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), 5 February 2013

According to the law on employee inventions, the inventor is entitled to information about all income generated by the employer from third parties in exploiting the invention. This information is the basis for claims of the employees against the employer for compensation. The Court confirmed the decisions of the lower courts and held that the income of the employer comprises all financial benefits related to the employees’ invention and its exploitation. This includes not only payments made to the employer but also other benefits such as patent protection.

Click here for the full text of this case.

A summary of this case will be posted on

Gnutti v. Aermec, Court of Appeal Milan (Corte d’Appello Milano), 8 February 2012

A patent can be re-assigned to the legitimate rights holder based on a claim of entitlement under Article 118 Italian IP Code, even when the patented subject matter differs from the invention made by the legitimate rights holder, when such differences do not involve an inventive step.

A summary of this case will be posted on

Inventions made for hire according to the Court of Appeal of Milan

In a decision of 9 February 2012, the Court of Appeal of Milan decided a case concerning the ownership of the rights over an invention allegedly made in the framework of a work-made-for-hire relationship. The case is interesting as Italian law does not explicitly regulate the case of inventions made for hire. Articles 64 and 65 of the Italian IP code, in fact, only consider cases in which the inventions are made in the framework of an employment relationship. In the case at issue, Gnutti S.p.A., the holder of a European patent and an Italian utility model concerning collectors to be used in air conditioning appliances, filed patent infringement proceedings against Aermec S.p.A. The latter, [...]

CA CI v. SC BU SA, High Court of Cassation and Justice (Inalta Curte de Casatie si Justitie), 14 March 2008

The Supreme Court confirmed the Court of Appeal’s decision that the certification of the status of creator of a technical achievement is an indispensable condition for monetary compensation of an employee by an enterprise. Since the plaintiffs have not requested or received any documents recognizing their status as creators of a technical achievement, their claim of monetary compensation has been rejected.

Click here for the full text of this case. A summary of this case will be posted on

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