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EPO: T773/10, European Patent Office (EPO), Board of Appeal, T773/10, 24 October 2014

The Board of Appeal rejected an attempt to apply the fiction of novelty of “medical” substances and compositions of article 54(5) EPC to a dialysis membrane. Contrary to T2003/08 the claimed dialysis membrane did not contain any further substance that might constitute an active ingredient. With reference to arguments in T2003/08, the board noted that it was not decisive that the dialysis membrane could perform the same function as a drug. The board also did not consider the membrane a single-use product consumed during use, because the reason for not re-using merely was fouling, which could theoretically be removed.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

‘Behavior Benoît Battistelli is bad for the EPO’s reputation’

The behavior of EPO president Benoît Battistelli is bad for the reputation of the European Patent Office and may in the longer term force him to resign. Wouter Pors, IP practitioner of Bird & Bird, said this in an interview with Kluwer IP Law, on the occasion of a recent decision of the Dutch appeal Court in The Hague.

The so-called Gerechtshof found that the EPO is violating the European Treaty on Human Rights by blocking mails from the labor unions and by limiting the workers’ right to strike. The Court said that regardless of the question whether the EPO is an autonomous international organization with its own legal order and staff policy, and which in principle enjoys immunity from th [...]

Injunction granted against Bodum coffee maker

In a recent decision rendered by the Danish specialty court for patents (the Maritime & Commercial Court) it was decided to grant an injunction against sales of copies of a Bodum piston coffee maker.

This case concerned whether F & H A/S should be barred from selling a specific piston coffee maker and whether sales of that piston coffee maker constituted an infringement of a European patent No. EP 1009269 B1 belonging to PI-Design AG.

PI-Design is the holder of a European patent for a piston coffee maker for preparing coffee in small amounts. F & H A/S had sold similar piston coffee makers, for which reason PI-Design had filed an infringement action based on the patent. F & H A/S pleaded a [...]

New news about the doctrine of equivalence in German case law

About half a year ago I reported on new developments in German case law concerning the doctrine of equivalence (see Just at the beginning of this month my colleague Bernward posted about further developments (see Now again, there is a recent decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) dealing with the doctrine of equivalence to report on.

The decision “Kochgefäß” (“cooking pan”, X ZR 81/13) dealt most prominently with the first question to be asked under the German doctrine of equivalence if there is no literal in [...]

Bulgaria: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v. the Patent Office, Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria, Administrative case 16130/2013, 6 August 2014

The Bulgarian Patent Office refused to issue a supplementary protection certificate for a medical product comprising three components as one of them was not within the scope of protection of the basic patent. The decision of the Patent Office was first annulled by the first instance court but subsequently upheld by the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

The Judgment of 12 March 2015 of the CJEU in Actavis v. BI: is the “subject-matter of the patent” test crafted by the AG in Medeva to replace the “core inventive advance” test?

On 12 March 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) published the judgment announced in our last blog in Case C-577/13, in response to some of the preliminary questions referred by the High Court of Justice (England and Wales), Chancery Division (Patents Court) in a case between Actavis Group EHF, Actavis UK Ltd (“Actavis”) and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG. (“BI”).  The facts of the case before the referring Court may be summarised as follows:

Background of the case:

On 9 August 1999, BI was granted a Supplementary Protection Certificate (“SPC”) for Telmisartan based on a marketing authorisation for Telmisartan granted on 16 December 1998 and patent EP (UK) 50 [...]

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