The FCJ held that legal provisions in force at the priority date must be taken into consideration when assessing novelty and inventive step of an invention. These legal provisions may incite the skilled person to work in a certain direction so that this makes the invention obvious.
By ruling of 21 February 2014, the Court of Turin decided a case between the US corporation Rovi and a number of Italian consumers electronics manufacturers. These had produced / imported set-top-boxes equipped with Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) that allegedly made use of the Rovi EPG patents, although without being covered by the Rovi licensing scheme. The Turin Court ruling is interesting as it tackles – one of the very few in the Italian case law – the issue of software patentability, reaching conclusions opposite to those of the UK courts in the Rovi versus Virgin Media saga.
The case had commenced with the filing by the Italian manufacturers of a nullity action against patents [...]
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 development of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in the late 1980s and 1990s is one of the most remarkable advances in the treatment of breast cancer. The story of the drug and its pioneer, the “velvet jackhammer”, Dennis Slamon, is neatly summarised in Siddhartha Mukherjee’s award winning novel: “The Emperor of All Maladies – a Biography of Cancer” – a fascinating if not necessarily uplifting read.
In short, unlike traditional chemotherapy, trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody which specifically targets a receptor known as HER-2 which is involved in the development of breast cancer. No-one disputes that the development of Herceptin was a landmark advance in the field of oncology – [...]
a) The applicant is not obliged to limit the protective scope to explicitly described embodiments, but may make certain generalisations to cover the entire invention.
b) Whether a claim containing generalisations is enabled depends on whether the protective scope extends beyond the most generalized teaching solving the underlying problem.
c) Functionally describing a group of compounds is not precluded by the fact that such wording encompasses not only compounds already known in the art or disclosed in the specification, but also compounds that may be provided in the future; even if their provision requires inventive activity.
The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the High Court (Arnold J) that claims concerning treatment of osteoporosis with zoledronic acid were not entitled to an earlier priority date and were therefore invalid over an intervening publication. The Court held that the disclosure in the priority document was either too general or too specific, and therefore did not support a claim to the use of zoledronic acid administered intravenously about once a year to treat osteoporosis with a dose of 2-10mg.