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Action by stages: Swiss Federal Patent Court streamlines requirements for disclosure of information and financial accounting

As in other jurisdictions patentees in Swiss patent disputes often rely on the so called action by stages approach, which allows patentees to demand disclosure of information and financial accounting before the proceedings progress to the actual claim for lost profits, infringer’s profits or a royalty fee.

In a recently published decision dated 25 August 2015 the Swiss Federal Patent Court had to decide inter alia what preconditions have to be fulfilled before the patentee can succeed with his demand for information and financial accounting.

The Swiss Federal Patent Court ruled that the patentee only has to establish the infringement of his patent and that it is not necessary to prove ful [...]

Inventor Remuneration: Have A Company Policy

By Benjamin Bai and Tyler Xiu

The Chinese inventor remuneration laws have been in flux for the last several years. Uncertainties are abundant. The first remuneration case involving a foreign company, Zhang v. 3M, has exacerbated the uncertainties – it seems to call into question if any remuneration policy short of 2% profit sharing would pass muster. However, a remuneration case involving a Chinese company, Liang v. Shanghai Zhongji Company, seems to suggest that a legally promulgated remuneration policy is likely to be respected by the courts. That is certainly a comforting signal.

Inventor Remuneration under Chinese Patent Law

Article 16 of the Chinese Patent Law sets out the requirem [...]

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 [...]

High Court of Justice of Madrid makes a rather harsh interpretation of the scope of “restitutio in integrum”

On 3 June 2015, the High Court of Justice (“Tribunal Superior de Justicia”) of Madrid handed down a judgment which has alerted everyone of the need to have robust systems in place to make sure that a deadline for paying renewal fees is not missed. The facts of the case may be briefly summarised as follows:

A Spanish company that failed to give instructions to its patent agents to pay the renewal fees for a patent application on time, filed an application for “restitutio in integrum” before the Spanish Patents and Trademark Office (“SPTO”). The application was based on a affidavit from an employee of the company, where he explained that although the company had an efficient and secure system [...]

Limitation of the claims of the French designation of a European patent: an option even during opposition proceedings?

Since 2011, it has been clear in France that the possibility for patent owners to request before the French patent office a limitation of the claims of a granted patent, offered by article L. 613 24 of the French Intellectual Property Code (“IPC”) since 1 January 2009, applies not only to the claims of French patents but also to the claims of the French designation of a European patent: this point was clarified by a decision of the cour d’appel de Paris, Pole 5, chamber 2, 1 July 2011, Teva v. Eli Lilly.

In its decision of 26 June 2015, between Honeywell and Arkema, the cour d’appel de Paris, Pole 5, Chamber 2, states that the limitation of the claims of the French designation of a E [...]

“Sleeping” features and patent infringement

In its decision Digitalblock (digital block) the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf) has discussed the question whether “sleeping” features of a device can cause patent infringement (judgement of 19 February 2015, docket No. I-15 U 39/14). The case was about set-top boxes for receiving free-to-air and encrypted television signals. The patent concerned a specific form of encryption using a specific algorithm and the device claim at stake required various features of such a device including inputs, logic means and a special algorithm. The attacked set-top boxes did not perform this special algorithm but contained freely available program libraries in their [...]

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