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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 [...]

Arithmetic value OR median value?

by Bernward Zollner

In a decision of 20 January 2015 the German Bundesgerichtshof has discussed the validity of the EP 0 964 031 and has confirmed at the end the previous judgement of the Bundespatentgericht by which the patent had been found to be invalid. The reasoning, however, was different: The claim as defended concerned polymeric material and the average size of the dispersed domains. The Bundespatentgericht had taken the position that the average size from 0,2 until less than 1 Micron referred to an arithmetic value although the patent specification did not contain any information as to the determination of the value. This value was anticipated by one of the documents under discussio [...]

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 [...]

Germany – late filing of new prior art can be too late

The Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court, appeal instance) just issued a court order on the admissibility of new prior art that the defendant discovered only in the second instance infringement proceedings. The defendant and appellant in the proceedings had requested a stay of the infringement appeal based on this new and relevant prior art until a decision in the parallel invalidity action will be rendered. Irrespective of the admissibility of the new citation in the parallel invalidity action, the infringement appeal court requested the defendant to provide sufficiently justified reasons for the late filing in order to admit the new citation.

Pursuant to the formal rules o [...]

The decision „Schleifprodukt“ of the German Federal Court of Justice – a step towards harmonisation with the EPO practice?

The judgement “Schleifprodukt” rendered by the German Federal Court of Justice on 25 November 2014 could be seen as a step towards harmonisation with the EPO because the court carried out the test for the admissibility of claim amendments by assessing whether the feature combination of the amended claim in its entirety represents a technical teaching which is identifiable from the original application as being suitable for achieving the effects of the invention.

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