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Prototype of UPC case management system online

Since last week the prototype of the case management and efiling software for the Unified Patent Court is online for testing purposes. In Brussels, Paul Van Beukeringen (chairman of the preparatory committee) explained today that the purpose of the testing is to get as much feedback as possible from users on how this case management system should work.

The prototype is available through the following link: http://prototype.unified-patent-court.org. Everybody can create an account to access all features of the prototype and give feedback. For now the prototype only shows how an infringement claim can be filed (an example of the statement of claim), applying rules 13-28 of the Rules of Procedu [...]

Will the new Spanish Patents Act introduce “protective writs” in Spain?

In September of 2013 the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (“SPTO”) published a draft Patents Act, which will hopefully be approved by Parliament within the next few months, assuming that the election calendar so permits. During the last year, the draft has received numerous comments from the stakeholders concerned, including the Spanish competition authorities and the “General Council for the Judiciary” (“GCJ”), the administrative organ that governs the Spanish Judiciary.

One of the suggestions made by the GCJ at paragraphs 116-119 of its Report of 24 July 2014 has been the introduction of a procedure roughly equivalent to “protective writs.” In particular, the Report contains the followi [...]

Obvious to try attacks remain topical even if they take a different path

By Gregory Bacon and Brian Cordery

The English Patents Court (Birss J) recently demonstrated a somewhat unconventional approach to answering the statutory question of obviousness when assessing inventive step*. The judgment also provides some guidance on the role of commercial as opposed to technical considerations, in particular regulatory concerns, when assessing obviousness. Leo Pharma, the defendant in these proceedings, market a successful product in the UK under the brand Dovobet Ointment. Teva sought to revoke two patents in Leo Pharma’s name which protect the Dovobet Ointment product. Leo Pharma in turn claimed infringement of the two patents by Teva’s proposed generic versio [...]

Training judges Unified Patent Court postponed to first quarter of 2015

The training of judges for the UPC will commence in the first quarter of 2015.

Willem Hoyng, member of the Expert Panel of the UPC Preparatory Committee, informed Kluwer IP Law that a group of 26 ET judges (Eligible with Training) has been selected for the initial training course. However, this does not mean that they will also be appointed as judge after this training.

In September’s Roadmap of the UPC Preparatory Committee, it was still assumed that the first training would start before the end of December 2014.

Before initiating the course, the selected judges will have to show that their knowledge of English is sufficient.

The program will be organized by the EPO Academy and will tak [...]

“Self-adhesive tape” – You better limit your Swiss patents in good time

The juxtapositon of patent limitations in national nullity proceedings and before national patent offices on the one hand and according to article 105a EPC on the other hand is a hotly debated issue not only in Switzerland.

In a recently published decision of 2 June 2014 (4A_541/2013), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had to decide – inter alia – whether the limitation of the European Patent 1 508 436 according to article 105a EPC which only took place after the revocation of the Swiss portion of the patent by the Federal Patent Court must still be taken into account.

In brief, claimant requested the nullity of EP 1 508 436 before the Swiss Federal Patent Court.

The patent relates [...]

News about the doctrine of equivalence in German case law

The doctrine of equivalence has seen some kind of renaissance in German case law recently. In short words, there are three questions to be asked to decide for equivalent infringement if there is no literal infringement. The first one being the question about the effect of the different solution. Do the means used to solve the problem underlying the invention objectively have the same effect? If so, would this different solution have been discovered by the man skilled in the art at the time of the priority date? The objective of this second question to be asked is whether it was kind of obvious to use the different approach instead even though it does not fall under the literal meaning of the [...]

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