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Implications Of The Proposed USPTO Attributable Owner Rules

Pursuant to a U.S. White House initiative aimed at addressing the “challenges from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs)” and stemming the economic drain of meritless patent litigation, the USPTO has issued propose rules to require patent applicants and patent owners to disclose patent ownership information during and after patent prosecution and during any Patent Trial and Appeal Board proceedings. Written comments on the proposed rules are due by April 24, 2014 (extended from the original March 25 deadline). While many patent offices require disclosure of the entity entitled to pursue a patent, the proposed USPTO Attributable Owner rules could go much farther, and could be difficult and costl [...]

An expert must be an expert

On 22 October 2013 the Provincial Court of Barcelona (Section 15) handed down a controversial judgment revoking a patent due to lack of inventive activity relying on a technical report prepared by an expert acknowledged not to be an expert in the technical field of the invention. According to the judgment “[...] for an expert to be able to provide the point of view of the person skilled in the art – necessary in this case to assess the inventive activity -, it is not essential for the expert to be an expert but that, due to his training and experience, he is capable of putting himself in the position of the «person skilled in the art».” 

This point of view is at odds with the conclusio [...]

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 [...]

T 1553/13 – New Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO

The EPO Board of Appeal 3.2.06 decided on 20 February 2014 to refer the following question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal:
“Is an appeal inadmissible or not deemed to have been filed, if both the notice of appeal had been filed and the fee for appeal had been paid after the expiry of the appeal term pursuant to Art. 108, 1st sentence EPC?”

Flupirtin-Maleat, Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht), 17 January 2013 ”

In preliminary injunction proceedings: to fulfil the requirement of urgency a patentee must actively and with determination enforce the patent. A patentee does not have to wait for the outcome of nullity proceedings if a generic company has launched an infringing product on the market, thereby causing irreparable harm to patentee.

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

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