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A Little German Christmas Present and some Year’s End Reflections

Thanks to Miquel Montaña’s brilliant Christmas post, we have learnt a lot about the lucina sine (aut cum) concubitu and the legal impact her involvement may have had for the application of Directive 98/44/EC to the event leading to the holidays that we have just been celebrating. While I must admit that even after having read Miquel’s lucid post, I am still not a hundred percent clear on whether Jesus in statu embryonis would have fallen under article 6(2) of Directive 98/44/EC, I can at least confidently say that I am satisfied with the fact that certain questions are probably unanswerable and that the CJEU has generously left this one for the national courts to decide.

Which brings us [...]

Continued Vitality of Utility Model Patents in China

Call them “junk patents” or “low quality patents”, however you’d label China’s utility model patents; earlier this year, a utility model patent owner obtained a damages award of USD6 million and a permanent injunction for the infringement of such a patent. This is likely to be the second largest damages award after the famous USD48.5m damages award against Schneider in September 2007 for a utility model covering low voltage switches. The Schneider case was considered by some to be a one-off phenomenon. With another multi-million dollar infringement award, should we really pay attention to utility model patents in China?

GoerTek v. Knowles
In April 2014, the Weifang Intermediate C [...]


On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) published a landmark judgment in Case C-364/13 International Stem Cell Corporation v. Comptroller General of Patents, in which it gave the following reply 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: 

Article 6(2)(c) of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions must be interpreted as meaning that an unfertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated [...]

Translating the Unitary Patent II: High Quality is Far From Perfect

patent translateLast week, we reported on the challenging endeavour to set up Patent Translate, the machine translation system which is under joint development by the European Patent Organisation (EPO) and Google and which is a crucial element of the Unitary Patent (UP) package. Intellectual Property Office (IPO) officials from Hungary, Finland and the Czech Republic told Kluwer IP Law the current quality of the machine translations is ‘rather bad’, possibly even ‘useless’. They are confident the EPO is actively involved in resolving the translation issues, although Jorma Hanski, director of the Patents and Innovations Line of the Finnish IPO, questioned whether the statistical machine translation e [...]

Brussels Court of Appeal limits the reach of counterfeit seizure

In its decision of 1 December 2014, the Brussels Court of Appeal clarified the scope of seizure measures that can be ordered in the context of a counterfeit seizure (“saisie-contrefaçon”). The Court confirmed that no general injunction can be obtained on the basis of these ex parte proceedings.

This case relates to the co-irbesartan litigation that has been raging in several European jurisdictions in 2012 and 2013, resulting in one of the ECJ decisions on supplementary protection certificates (SPC) of 12 December 2013 (see the discussion on this blog relating to this “Super Thursday for SPCs”: [...]

German ‘yes’ will most likely bring to life the Unified Patent Court

The German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement will most likely be decisive for the moment when the Unified Patent Court comes into existence. In an interview on recent developments regarding the UPC, Bird & Bird partner Wouter Pors told Kluwer IP Law that the Preparatory Committee and Member States are in contact to make sure there are no surprises regarding the moment the court starts functioning.

The UPC Agreement will enter into force on the first day of the fourth month after thirteen states, including Germany, the United Kingdom and France, have deposited their instrument of ratification. Earlier this month, quite surprisingly Malta became the sixth state to do so. Franc [...]

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