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Abuse of Process – Patentee does not have to assert all known means of infringement

A decision from Mr Justice Birss in Adaptive Spectrum And Signal Alignment Inc v British Telecommunications Plc [2014] EWHC 4194 has introduced additional complications for parties found to infringe a patent who then seek to work around the same. In essence that party cannot simply sit back and assume that the only feature to address is that which was successfully attacked by the patentee.  Instead that party must now consider whether their product or system might infringe in other ways (and work around the same as well).

The judgment stems from an infringement action brought by Adaptive Spectrum And Signal Alignment Inc. (ASSIA) against BT for infringement of two of its patents.  BT’s [...]

Specialized IP Courts in China: One Giant Step?

On August 31, 2014 the Chinese legislature approved a resolution to establish specialized IP courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. By early November, the Beijing IP Court was operational and had begun to take cases, with 28 being filed in the first four working days.

bj ip court

The Guangzhou IP Court is expected to be operational around December 15, 2014 and the Shanghai IP Court in January 2015. Some proclaim this as a giant leap forward in China’s IP protection landscape. Anticipation is building. But will it live up to the expectations? Let’s take a look.

Background
Unbeknownst to some, China has had specialized tribunals to adjudicate IP cases for years. Currently, there are about 560 IP [...]

To suspend or not to suspend – Bundesgerichtshof on bifurcation

by Hetti Hilge

In two recent and surprising decisions the Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice) clarified the effects of a first instance decision nullifying the patent in suit on the enforcement of a parallel infringement finding (including an injunction) and, upon second review, remedied what it considers an unintended oversight by the legislator (“Planwidrige Regelungslücke”) in the specific circumstances of patent litigation and bifurcation. Effectively “overruling” its own previous decision in the very same case (Microsoft vs Motorola), the court now ordered the temporary suspension of the enforcement of an appeal court judgment finding for infringement, against t [...]

German Court is Soothsaying What the Future will Bring for FRAND and Compulsory License Defenses

by Dr. Simon Klopschinski

In one of its latest orders the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has used the opportunity to take a glimpse into the crystal ball, in order to see what decision the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is going to render in response to the pending referral for preliminary ruling regarding the FRAND and compulsory license defense in case of standard essential patents (SEPs).

In recent years the information and telecommunication (ITC) sector has seen a wave of patent lawsuits in various jurisdictions, including Germany. Since most of the patents asserted in these proceedings form part of a standard, a core questions is whether enforcing SEPs complies with anti [...]

The wording of Prayers for Relief: A complicated Swiss affair

The wording of prayers for relief in patent infringement proceedings remains a hotly debated issue in Switzerland. In a landmark decision dated 2004 (BGE 131 III 70) the Swiss Federal Supreme Court ruled that the patent infringing goods or procedures had to be exactly described in the prayers of relief of a cease-and-desist order. Since then, it has not been sufficient to simply repeat the wording of the claim of the allegedly infringed patent. In particular, this holds true if the interpretation of the claim features is highly controversial between the parties. The authorities that are in charge of the enforcement of an injunction cannot be expected to reassess the meaning of the patent cla [...]

No Mercy: Exhaustion of patent rights and burden of proof

The use and circulation of a product which has been put on the market by the patentee or a third party acting with the consent of the patentee (e.g. a licensee) cannot be prohibited by the patentee anymore. This concept of exhaustion is not only applicable to the territory of Germany, but to the entire territory of the EU and EEA, i.e. the common European market. This Europe wide exhaustion of patent rights is the basis for parallel imports, in particular for parallel imports of pharmaceuticals and plant protection products.

Being a defense, the burden of prove showing that the product has been put onto the market by the patentee or a licensee lies with the defendant. However, applying this [...]

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