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Another win for Virgin

by Emma Muncey and Brian Cordery

With the Judges mostly on summer vacation, August and September have given some time for reflection on several decisions from the Patents Courts in July. One of those decisions was another defeat for Rovi against Virgin from the Court of Appeal in Rovi v Virgin [2015] EWCA Civ 781. Floyd LJ. gave the leading judgment of a unanimous Court. This is the twelfth patent in a row which Rovi has asserted against Virgin and which has been found to be invalid or revoked by either the English Courts or the EPO.

The judgment itself is relatively succinct and affirms the High Court’s decision to revoke Rovi’s patent and emphasises that a trial judge does not have [...]

Can Summer Heat Melt Polymer Compositions?

Some Late Summer Thoughts about Molten Polymers and two Decisions by the German Federal Court of Justice

Now that the unusual heat of this summer in central Europe finally seems to have ended, it might be a good point in time to activate our cerebral bio-polymers again. So let us muse about the melting of polymers in general and consider a particular patent that gave the German Federal Court of Justice something to think about.

The patent at stake was European Patent 1 102 809, relating to a method for preparing a polymer foam (in German: Polymerschaum) comprising four steps and an article comprising the polymer foam obtainable according to this method. In a slightly simplified form, claim 1 [...]

Leo Roars Again

The end of July always brings a flurry of decisions from English Patents Courts at all levels as the Judges, understandably, seek to clear their desks before the summer vacation. This year was no exception with at least half a dozen judgments concerning patents being handed down in the space of two weeks. Among them was a gem from the Court of Appeal in the Teva v Leo [2015] EWCA 779 case in which the substantive judgment was given by Sir Robin Jacob with whom Kitchin and King LJJ agreed.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the decision is its length – a mere 9 pages including the cover page. It is also easy to read with Sir Robin, in customary style, deploying short sentences, colourf [...]

The best things in life are unexpected because there were no expectations (Eli Khamarov)

Apart from the enthralling Lyrica saga which began in earnest back in January, and the main trial of which recently began before Arnold J, 2015 has not witnessed many significant pharmaceutical patent decisions from the UK patents courts. Thus, three cases in this field which, rather like London buses, arrived almost simultaneously, have provided welcome food for thought to life sciences patent enthusiasts.

The three cases were Smith & Nephew v Convatec (24 June 2015) and Eli Lilly v Actavis (25 June 2015) from the Court of Appeal and a decision from Arnold J in Hospira v Genentech (24 June 2015), part of the on-going campaign to clear the way in respect of certain Genentech patents relatin [...]

Fordham Conference 2015 – US Patent Law Developments

Dimitrios T Drivas (White & Case) gave the speedy run down on the following points and cases, which some might find useful for following up on points of interest:

Supreme Court

The decision that in exceptional cases reasonable attorney’s fees may be paid to the prevailing party (an exception to the rule that each party bears its own costs in the USA). The exception was interpreted to mean some sort of ‘bad faith’ by the Federal Circuit overturning the District Court decision. The Supreme Court found that the District Court’s decision should be given due deference.

‘Indefiniteness’ has gone from ‘insoluble ambiguity’ to ‘fails to inform with reasonable certainty’.

Induced infringement (Limel [...]

EPO: T0025/13, European Patent Office (EPO), Board of Appeal, T0025/13, 20 November 2014

The Board emphasized that there was a relation between who was to be considered to be the skilled person for judging inventive step on one hand and the choice of the closest prior art on the other hand. A general problem to modify a product from one field so that it could be used in any field failed to incite the relevant skilled person to select application to the specific other field of the patent, and directing the problem to a specific other field would add an impermissible pointer to the solution.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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