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More honour’d in the breach than the observance

In a decision dated 11th July 2014, the English Patents Court (Arnold J.) has again refused to stay proceedings to revoke an EP(UK) whilst opposition proceedings are on-going at the EPO. The decisive factor in this decision seems again to have been the lengthy duration of the EPO proceedings. However, the undertakings offered by the patentee were such that it is considered that it will be a rare occasion when English proceedings are stayed despite the Court of Appeal guidelines indicating that this should be the default option.

The facts before the Court were quite simple: Pharmacia is the owner of a patent for sustained release dosage forms of pramipexole, a drug used in the treatment o [...]

Sweden: Brokk v Husqvarna, Stockholm District Court 15 January 2014

The Stockholm District Court found that the product did not fall under the wording of the patent claim or the doctrine of equivalence. During the application procedure before EPO, the patent holder had intentionally limited the scope of protection in order to avoid prior art. The features added to the patent claim during the application procedure meant that the defendant’s product could not constitute infringement under the wording of the patent claim, and considering this limitation, the Court further concluded that the doctrine of equivalence could not be applied to expand the scope of protection.

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

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Shortlist of judges for Unified Patent Court

This week the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court gathered at the Finnish Permanent Representation to the European Union for their sixth meeting.

At this meeting the Committee approved a shortlist of suitable candidate judges that have the potential to become a judge of the UPC. As you know, the UPC will need both legally and technically qualified judges. The first plans to divide the shortlist of the legally and technically qualified judges into 4 categories was put away for the better option of working with two categories in the shortlist i.e. eligible candidates and candidates eligible after training. Last year, more than 1300 applications were received for UPC judge (both [...]

A (not so) Wii decision from the English High Court

By Brian Cordery and Rachel Mumby

Computer games enthusiasts will be interested in this decision from the English High Court in which it was found that the Nintendo Wii and Wii U systems infringe two patents owned by Philips. And for those with World Cup Football fever… one of Philips’ experts had previously done research which showed that in Geoff Hurst’s controversial goal in the 1966 World Cup Football final, the whole of the ball did not cross the whole of the line.

There were three patents in issue. The first (EP’484) relates to “modelling a virtual body in a virtual environment” i.e. Wii games where the player stands/runs on a “Balance Board” in order to control move [...]

Germany: Anthocyanverbinding, Federal Court of Justice 10 December 2013

The FCJ held that legal provisions in force at the priority date must be taken into consideration when assessing novelty and inventive step of an invention. These legal provisions may incite the skilled person to work in a certain direction so that this makes the invention obvious.

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

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Infringement proceedings outside Germany do not provide justification for a negative declaratory action in Germany regarding the same European patent

The Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf has ruled in its decision of 20 March 2014 (docket number 12 W 8.14) that an explicit allegation of entitlement to a national part of a European patent, e.g. by sending a warning letter or the filing of a court action, does not include an implicit allegation of entitlement (stillschweigende Berühmung) to the other parts of the same European patent in the respective other countries, nor does this provide grounds for declaratory interest (Feststellungsinteresse) in Germany, i.e. a legitimate interest in filing a negative declaratory action regarding the German part of the European patent.

The circumstances resulting in the German proceedings were infringe [...]

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