One of the tricky consequences of Article 64 of the European Patent Convention (“EPC”), which establishes that the European patent is immediately enforceable after its publication, and Article 99, which provides for “post-grant” oppositions, is that quite often the combination of these two articles fuels two trains that run in parallel where the validity of the patent is revisited. Since the EPC does not contain any provision addressing this situation, this leaves it up to the national laws of contracting parties to the EPC to devise a solution.
In contrast, the Community Trademark Regulation, for example, establishes that a Community trademark court hearing one of the actions envisaged in [...]
The English High Court (Arnold J.) has granted an application for a stay of the UK High Court proceedings to revoke the UK designation of an EP patent pending the outcome of opposition proceedings at the EPO. The decision is unusual as Arnold J had previously refused to stay the validity proceedings in this case on several grounds including the lengthy duration of the EPO proceedings. Following Arnold’s first decision dated 11 July 2014, Pharmacia offered two additional undertakings, which led Arnold J. to tip the balance in favour of a stay.
Almost everyday someone posts something about the Unified Patent Court or a seminar is offered about the “newest” developments. In fact nobody is able to predict whether the system will “work”. It is said that in order “to be successful” the system needs to be efficient, speedy and affordable. It is also said that it will largely depend on the qualification and experience of the future UPC judges whether the UPC will be accepted by its “customers”. While this is certainly true to some extent one should keep in mind that it is up to the lawmaker to provide the rules for the proceedings balancing efficiency with justice and -at least evenly important- to provide sufficient fund [...]
In a decision dated 11th July 2014, the English Patents Court (Arnold J.) has again refused to stay proceedings to revoke an EP(UK) whilst opposition proceedings are on-going at the EPO. The decisive factor in this decision seems again to have been the lengthy duration of the EPO proceedings. However, the undertakings offered by the patentee were such that it is considered that it will be a rare occasion when English proceedings are stayed despite the Court of Appeal guidelines indicating that this should be the default option.
The facts before the Court were quite simple: Pharmacia is the owner of a patent for sustained release dosage forms of pramipexole, a drug used in the treatment of Pa [...]
In decision T 373/12 of 2 April 2014 the Enlarged Board has been asked to decide on the extent to which the clarity of claims amended during opposition proceedings and opposition appeal proceedings can be challenged when the amendments are based on dependent claims as granted.
Last week, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent Office (PTAB) issued eight decisions in Inter Partes review and Covered Business Method proceedings, in each case invalidating at least some of the challenged claims of the patent at issue. That brings to 15 the total number of patents invalidated in an Inter Partes review or Covered Business Method proceeding since those proceedings became available on September 16, 2012, and keeps at 0 the number of proceedings decided in favor of the patent holder.
While many aspects of post-grant proceedings are still evolving, we have seen enough interim rulings and final decisions to draw a few general conclusions.