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Chairman Between the Chairs -The Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal R0012/19-

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 [...]

English Patents Court grants extra-territorial DNIs

Patent litigators around Europe will be taking note of the latest significant development from the English Patents Court in the case of Actavis v Eli Lilly [2014] EWHC 1511 (Pat) (judgment dated 15 May 2014), in which the English Court decided to grant declarations of non-infringement (DNIs) for three foreign designations of a European Patent in addition to that for the UK.  The decision of Mr Justice Arnold, the most senior UK patents judge at first instance, is wide-ranging and merits careful analysis by litigators throughout Europe in light of the potential impact on cross-jurisdictional litigation strategies.  Thus, the authors make no apology for this comparatively lengthy analysis or [...]

T 1843/09: the EPO clarifies the scope of the prohibition of reformatio in peius

The recent decision T 1843/09 clarifies that the exception to the prohibition of reformatio in peius set out in G 1/99 in order to overcome an objection under Article 123(2) EPC is not the only exception. According to the Technical Board of Appeal, exceptions to this principle are a matter of equity in order to protect a non-appealing Proprietor against procedural discrimination in circumstances where the prohibition of reformatio in peius would impair the legitimate defence of its patent.

Norway: Liquid Seal Pump, District Court Oslo, 27 January 2014

The Oslo District Court held that Jets AS’ patent for a liquid seal pump of the helical screw type for use in vacuum drainage systems lacked novelty over one of Jets’ own patents. Despite the court’s finding on invalidity, the court did not consider Jets warning letter to a customer of its competitor, Evac Oy, in conflict with good business practice among traders pursuant to §25 of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act.

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

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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 [...]

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