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If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly

By Rachel Mumby and Brian Cordery

We reported recently that the IPCom Guidelines which set out when the English Court should stay patent actions pending EPO oppositions appear to be “More honour’d in the breach than the observance”. This had been in response to the decision of Arnold J of 10 July 2014 who had refused to grant such a stay despite relatively broad undertakings offered by the patentee in relation to such a stay.

In the postscript to the above judgment, Arnold J noted that after he had released his judgment in draft, the patentee, Pharmacia, had offered two additional undertakings to Actavis, the potential infringer, in return for a stay. In a new judgment, handed down [...]

Eli Lilly v HGS – Declaration Denied

It is perhaps a poor reflection on the CJEU that it regularly issues rulings that, when the case is restored before the referring court, lead both parties to an action to claim victory. However this happened yet again when Warren J was given the unenviable task of implementing one of the trio of references decided by the CJEU last December in the world of SPCs.

Most readers will already be familiar with the facts of the Eli Lilly v HGS case. HGS has a patent directed to Neutrokine-alpha which includes a claim to antibodies which bind to this protein. This claim is drawn at a fairly broad level – anything that binds specifically to the full length Neutrokine-alpha polypeptide or the extra [...]

Patentability of biotechnological inventions before the CJEU – A narrower construction of the “no-go zone” than in Brüstle or simply different facts?

On 17 July 2014, Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón issued his opinion in Case C-364/13 International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents, whereby he proposed that the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) give the following response to a question referred by the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division (Patents Court), of England and Wales regarding the meaning of “human embryos” in article 6(2) (c) of Directive 98/44/EC: “Unfertilised human ova whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis are not included in the term “human embryos” in article 6(2) (c) of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 [...]

More honour’d in the breach than the observance

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 o [...]

Shortlist of judges for Unified Patent Court

This week the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court gathered at the Finnish Permanent Representation to the European Union for their sixth meeting.

At this meeting the Committee approved a shortlist of suitable candidate judges that have the potential to become a judge of the UPC. As you know, the UPC will need both legally and technically qualified judges. The first plans to divide the shortlist of the legally and technically qualified judges into 4 categories was put away for the better option of working with two categories in the shortlist i.e. eligible candidates and candidates eligible after training. Last year, more than 1300 applications were received for UPC judge (both [...]

A (not so) Wii decision from the English High Court

By Brian Cordery and Rachel Mumby

Computer games enthusiasts will be interested in this decision from the English High Court in which it was found that the Nintendo Wii and Wii U systems infringe two patents owned by Philips. And for those with World Cup Football fever… one of Philips’ experts had previously done research which showed that in Geoff Hurst’s controversial goal in the 1966 World Cup Football final, the whole of the ball did not cross the whole of the line.

There were three patents in issue. The first (EP’484) relates to “modelling a virtual body in a virtual environment” i.e. Wii games where the player stands/runs on a “Balance Board” in order to control move [...]

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