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Declaration on Patent Protection published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munich) 40 researchers from 25 countries passed a “Declaration on Patent Protection”. This declaration was published in connection with the 20th anniversary of the TRIPs Agreement.

The authors of the declaration state that over the past decades, the autonomy of nation states to design their patent regimes has been progressively eroded by multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements, which are becoming increasingly complex and set more and more limits to the states’ regulatory freedom. According to the authors, the ability of national legislators to maintain a proper balance between the need for protection [...]

Facts and figures about Swiss patent litigation: Press release concerning the annual report 2013 of the Swiss Federal Patent Court

Earlier today, the Swiss Federal Courts (including the Swiss Federal Patent Court) published a joint press release concerning their annual reports 2013.

The number of infringement and/or validity cases submitted to the Federal Patent Court in its second year of operation corresponds to the expectations. In total, 22 ordinary proceedings on the merits and 11 summary proceedings were brought before the Court (this is an increase of almost 100% compared to the 17 new cases that had been filed with the Federal Patent Court in 2012).

The Court dealt with 23 cases in 2013. This means that the ratio between output and input is roughly 69%.

In its second business year, the Federal Patent Cour [...]

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 [...]

Simplicity is no Objection – The illuminating saga of Collingwood Lighting Limited v Aurora Limited (10 February 2014)

by Katie Hutchinson & Brian Cordery

A recent judgment from Mr Justice Roth in the UK Patents Court found a patent for a fire resistant LED downlight valid and infringed. The gist of the invention was said to be a simple change from the state of the art but it was held that just because it was a simple change that did not preclude it from being inventive. On novelty, the one cited piece of prior art was held not to describe something which if performed would “necessarily lead to the making of the subject-matter of the patent” and thus not an anticipation according to the law as most recent stated by the House of Lords in the Synthon case back in 2005. Further, the prior art documents c [...]

UPC: 16th draft of Rules of Procedure unveiled yesterday. The obstinate “opting-out” fee: will those who sow the wind, reap the whirlwind?

UPC aficionados will be interested to learn that the 16th draft of the Rules of Procedure was unveiled yesterday.

Readers will remember that the previous draft was published on 31 May 2013. Since then, the Drafting Committee has been working on a new draft that may – or may not – accommodate the comments received from stakeholders, including those discussed at the European Judge’s Forum that took place in Venice on 25-26 October 2013. Trying to comment on the 382 Rules of the draft in this very brief blog would be like trying to sum-up the history of mankind in a haiku. So this author will focus his attention on one aspect that appears to be here to stay: the obstinate “opting-out” fee. [...]

English Court underlines importance of Mindset and the Common General Knowledge

Eugen Seitz AG v KHS Corpoplast GmbH and Norgren AG [2014] EWHC 14 (Ch) is an interesting case relating to the valves in stretch blow moulding machines used to make plastic bottles. The patent was alleged to be invalid for both lack of novelty and obviousness, although the Defendants denied that the relevant prior art had actually been made available to the public. In the alternative, the claimants sought a declaration of non-infringement in relation to certain claims of the patent. The trial judge was Roth J, who does not hear many patent cases but is gaining experience all the time.

The sole novelty citation was a fax sent around nine years before the priority date from the head of d [...]

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