International Reports - More Updates

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP

25 Apr 2018
Claiming costs and expenses in High Court litigation as licensee

While there are many good reasons for recording a patent licence and keeping an up-to-date register, a recent High Court ruling illustrates the tangible effect of failing to record a licence: the threat of missing out on recovering legal costs.  Full text

18 Apr 2018
IP rights – what does the future hold after Brexit?

The European Commission recently published its draft withdrawal agreement setting out its proposals for the arrangements surrounding the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, including in relation to IP rights.  Full text

21 Mar 2018
Clarification of disclaimer practice at the EPO

Despite recent clarification of disclaimer practice from the European Patent Office Enlarged Board of Appeal, disclaimers still present significant risks in Europe and should be used cautiously. Full text

21 Feb 2018
Are UK companies making best use of the patent system?

UK companies are lagging behind their counterparts in Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea when it comes to filing domestic and foreign patent applications, according to recent research published by the UK Intellectual Property Office. Full text

14 Feb 2018
Restorations – the UK landscape

Restoration mechanisms are available for IP rights that may have been unintentionally lost through non-payment of an annuity (renewal fee) and inadvertently missing the filing date of a Patent Cooperation Treaty application or the deadline for national or regional phase entry. Full text

07 Feb 2018
Restoring lost IP rights: prevention is better than cure

The unintentional loss of valuable registered IP rights can be extremely distressing and the financial and time-related costs of trying to restore lost rights can be significant. However, even when rights have been lost, they can sometimes be rescued. Full text

29 Nov 2017
Unregistered IP rights may have significant consequences for interested parties

Having successfully acquired, licensed or taken security over registered IP rights, new rights holders often fail to register their transactions at a national IP office. This can have significant consequences for interested parties and complicate future dealings in those rights. Full text

22 Nov 2017
New referral regarding SPC availability for certain medical devices

A new question has been referred to the European Court of Justice by the German Federal Patent Court on the availability of supplementary protection certificates for medical devices – in this case, a combined medical device and medicinal product that has been authorised under the Medical Devices Directive. Full text

02 Aug 2017
Supreme Court decision alters UK approach to infringement by equivalents

The recent Supreme Court decision on Eli Lilly’s Alimta patent reverses lower courts’ rulings and finds claims limited to disodium to be directly infringed by other salts and free acid. The new approach to infringement brings UK courts more closely in line with those of other European countries, particularly Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Full text

28 Jun 2017
Implications of FRAND royalty rate on standard-essential patent litigation

The High Court recently gave long-awaited guidance on the determination of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty rates for standard-essential patents on a worldwide basis. The detailed judgment has many implications for UK standard-essential patent litigation. Full text

03 May 2017
Keeping up in the patent race for connected cars

The interplay across technology sectors and competition between car manufacturers in the development of connected cars means that established car manufacturers should ensure that they are not left behind in building and exploiting their patent portfolios. Full text

12 Apr 2017
Unwired Planet v Huawei – essentially fair?

The lengthy, long-awaited judgment in Unwired Planet v Huawei Technologies, which has just been released, provides guidance on the determination of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty rates for standard-essential patents on a worldwide basis. Full text

15 Mar 2017
Yes, it matters – but it’s not all about size

The Court of Appeal has upheld the decisions of the High Court and the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) that Professor Shanks, an employee of Unilever, was not entitled to inventor’s compensation. The appeal court dismissed Shanks’ further appeal against the UKIPO rejection of his multi-million pound claim for inventor’s compensation against his former employer in respect of patents which he claimed to be of “outstanding benefit” to Unilever. Full text

15 Feb 2017
Enlarged Board of Appeal rules on partial priority

A new decision from the European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal marks a radical change in the EPO’s approach to assessing priority entitlement. The decision resets the EPO’s approach to assessing priority in the situation where only some parts of the claim are entitled to priority – a concept known as 'partial priority' – making it much easier for a claim to benefit from partial priority. Full text

07 Dec 2016
UK participation in UPC confirmed

The United Kingdom has announced that it intends to participate in the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) despite the recent vote to leave the European Union. The United Kingdom plans to ratify the UPC Agreement so that both the unitary patent and the UPC become a reality in the near future, perhaps during 2017. Full text

17 Aug 2016
Accelerating patent prosecution via the Green Channel

Early grant of a patent can be desirable not only for enforcement purposes, but also for businesses for which it is crucial to attract investors and secure funding. The UK Intellectual Property Office’s Green Channel provides an attractive route to early grant for patent applicants with inventions with environmental benefits. Full text

10 Aug 2016
De minimis – how low do you need to go?

What proportion of products must fall within the scope of the claims for there to be an infringement? Even if the number of infringements is not discounted as de minimis but is still small, what remedies may the court grant? Some answers were provided by a recent judgment giving the most detailed discussion of the de minimis principle by the English patents court to date.  Full text

03 Aug 2016
No jurisdiction over foreign designations of European patents where validity is also challenged

The High Court recently dismissed a request to hear an infringement action in respect of the German designation of a European patent. The High Court confirmed that where the validity of the European patent is called into question, the English courts have no jurisdiction to hear an infringement action in respect of a foreign designation, and careful drafting or re-drafting of the infringement action does not provide a way round this position. Full text

27 Jul 2016
Patent Prosecution Highway: FAQs

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme has now been running for over 10 years. Although most patent applicants have, in that time, become familiar with the concept of the PPH, many potential users have unanswered questions about its mechanics and are yet to route any of their patent applications along it. Full text

18 May 2016
The Patent Box is changing shape

The existing UK Patent Box system is closing to new entrants from June 30 2016. The Patent Box regime allows UK companies to elect to pay a reduced rate of corporation tax on profits derived from the exploitation of patents and certain other types of intellectual property. Full text

13 Apr 2016
Patents Court rules in third technical Unwired Planet trial

The UK Patents Court recently handed down its judgment in the third technical trial in the ongoing dispute between Unwired Planet and various mobile phone and infrastructure manufacturers. Full text

24 Feb 2016
Court battle over Unwired Planet patents continues

The UK Patents Court recently handed down judgment in the ongoing dispute between Unwired Planet and various mobile phone and infrastructure manufacturers. Thus far, Unwired Planet has seen some success in both the UK and German courts. However, the courts still have further patents to consider. Full text

22 Jul 2015
English courts scrutinise claimed numerical ranges

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of ConvaTec in the latest chapter in a dispute over silverised wound dressings, holding that Smith & Nephew's process fell within the claimed numerical range, despite an attempted work around to avoid the explicit numerical limits. Full text

22 Apr 2015
SPCs for biologics – guidance on product definitions, scope and validity from EFTA Court

The Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Association States has provided some much-needed guidance regarding the scope and validity of SPCs for biologics, but the language used may concern innovators. It remains to be seen whether the European Court of Justice will agree with this approach. Full text

15 Apr 2015
An introduction to clarity in EPO oppositions

The European Patent Office Enlarged Board of Appeal recently handed down a decision on the extent to which amendments made during opposition proceedings can be examined for clarity, following a referral from a lower board. Full text

04 Feb 2015
English courts tackle Swiss-type claims and off-label use

The English Patents Court has handed down a judgment providing guidance on the scope and enforceability of 'Swiss-type' second medical use claims. In particular, the judge considered a question pivotal to the perceived value of Swiss-type claims: to what extent can such claims be used to restrict off-label use where other uses of a drug are no longer protected by a patent? Full text

17 Dec 2014
Will the public suffer? Let’s stay!

The recent UK Court of Appeal decision in Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment Inc v British Telecommunications Plc shows that the UK courts are prepared to impose injunctions on big telecoms operators, but that in doing so consideration may well be given to the effect that an injunction will have on the public. Full text

03 Dec 2014
It all depends on the facts

The UK Court of Appeal recently issued a judgment in an application by Lantana Ltd which provides a useful summary of the tests for excluded subject matter in the United Kingdom, as set out in previous cases. However, the judgment does little to clarify what continues to be a rather opaque and fact-specific area of the law. Full text

26 Nov 2014
A sting in the tail of new UKIPO opinions service

The UK Intellectual Property Office opinions service has been given more substance and the office now has the power to revoke patents in certain situations. Since the request for an opinion by a third party is likely to grab the attention of the patentee, what opportunities does the new service provide? Full text

19 Nov 2014
The IPEC leaves its cap on

The caps that are in place for the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, formerly known as the Patents County Court, provide claimants and defendants alike with certainty when it comes to damages/account of profits and orders in relation to costs. Abbott v Design & Display Ltd focused on how the cap relating to awards of damages/account of profits should be applied in actions involving more than one defendant. Full text

05 Nov 2014
Court decides milk bottle patent case without trial

The UK courts have the power to dispose of all or part of a case without a trial if there is no real prospect of success. In a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal, Alpla UK Limited has successfully made use of these powers, receiving a favourable declaration of non-infringement from the High Court without the need for a trial. Full text

20 Aug 2014
Extended protection for medical devices – a hot topic in the United Kingdom

Manufacturers of medical devices are requesting an increasing number of patent term extensions in a bid to recover the cost of getting regulatory approval. Recent decisions show that the UK Intellectual Property Office is taking a strict approach when examining patent term extensions for medical devices, but there are still situations where extra protection might be available. Full text

30 Jul 2014
Patentable parthenotes? Advocate general says yes

Good news could be on the horizon for stem cell patenting in Europe. In answer to a question referred by the UK High Court, the advocate general has recommended that unfertilised human ova that have been stimulated to develop by parthenogenesis are excluded from the definition of 'human embryo', and are therefore back in the realm of patentable subject matter. Full text

23 Jul 2014
Should High stay for EPO? Actavis and Pharmacia clash in the High Court

The Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales has refused a request by patentee Pharmacia for a stay of UK revocation proceedings brought by Actavis pending the outcome of opposition proceedings at the European Patent Office (EPO). This decision applies recent Court of Appeal guidance as to when UK proceedings should be stayed pending the outcome of EPO opposition proceedings. Full text

02 Jul 2014
The IP Act – a false economy?

The IP Bill recently received royal assent and became the IP Act 2014. Part of wider reforms intended to support innovation and add a headline-grabbing figure of up to £8 billion to the size of the UK economy by 2020, the act is intended to make the UK IP system clearer, more cost effective and more accessible, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Full text

18 Jun 2014
A measure of outstanding: employee inventor compensation in Shanks v Unilever

The High Court recently upheld a UK IP Office decision not to award Professor Shanks employee inventor compensation. In reaching this decision, the judge had to consider whether the patent was of “outstanding benefit” to the employer. This case illustrates that for an employee to succeed in any such claim, the patented invention must be transformative. Full text

11 Jun 2014
Patchy conference report enough to put a bullet in Richter Gedeon’s morning-after pill patent

The UK High Court has held Richter Gedeon’s patent for a single dose of the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel to be invalid in view of a report published a few months before the priority date, revealing the preliminary results from an incomplete study of the drug. Full text

04 Jun 2014
UK clinical trials given immunity from patent infringement

New legislation drafted by the UK government should shield clinical trials in the United Kingdom from the risk of patent infringement in the near future. The current UK Patents Act includes two provisions aimed at exempting certain experiments from infringement. However, these provisions are limited, so at present many UK clinical trials would not be sheltered from patent infringement by a statutory exemption. Full text

28 May 2014
Appeal board finds Swiss-type claims have different scope from EPC 2000 second medical use claims

A new decision of the European Patent Office Technical Board of Appeal indicates that Swiss-type claims provide a different scope of protection from EPC 2000 second medical use claims. Swiss-type claims are widely used in European patents directed to new medical indications of known compounds, so this decision could have important implications for the enforcement of many patents in national courts across Europe. Full text

21 May 2014
EDS Ltd v Synergy Health plc: be clear about technical fields

A recent decision of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court demonstrates the importance of parties being clear in their pleadings about the technical field of the skilled person when seeking to invalidate a patent for obviousness in the United Kingdom. It also highlights problems that can arise in selecting expert witnesses. Full text

30 Apr 2014
Genentech’s Herceptin purification patent fails to pass the acid test

The UK High Court has decided that Genentech’s patent relating to a composition of Herceptin with reduced acidic variant content is invalid. The patent was revoked for lacking novelty over Genentech’s own earlier patent publication and for lacking inventive step over a conference disclosure by one of its own employees. Full text

23 Apr 2014
Less is more – but still not enough – for Genentech’s dosing schedule patent

The High Court has decided that Genentech’s patent relating to a dosage regimen for Herceptin is invalid. This judgment highlights the importance of meeting the requirements for sufficient disclosure for claims based on dosage regimens and the difficulty of obtaining the information required in clinical trials. Full text

02 Apr 2014
No sitting on the fence: IPEC finds groundless threats of patent infringement

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) has found in favour of a claimant who was groundlessly threatened with patent infringement proceedings. Despite obtaining a non-infringement opinion from the Intellectual Property Office, the defendant represented himself before the IPEC and seemingly suffered from his lack of legal advice. Full text

26 Mar 2014
“I want you to stay”: Court of Appeal agrees to await outcome of EPO central limitation

The European Patent Office's central limitation procedure has shown its potential to disrupt infringement and validity hearings in the UK courts after the UK Court of Appeal agreed to adjourn an appeal in the ongoing dispute between Apple and Samsung. Full text

26 Feb 2014
Financial pitfalls associated with interim injunctions

In AstraZeneca v KRKA the High Court considered the merits of arguments put forward when trying to recover damages following a cross-undertaking in respect of an interim injunction that was subsequently discharged. Significantly, the judge chose to rely on the evidence of medicine managers rather than that of expert economists when assessing the loss of first-mover advantage. Full text

19 Feb 2014
ConvaTec fails to find silver lining in latest dispute with Smith & Nephew

The High Court recently decided that Smith & Nephew’s DURAFIBER Ag™ wound care product did not infringe ConvaTec’s patent relating to silverised wound dressings, and refused to grant springboard relief to ConvaTec based on infringing experiments carried out by Smith & Nephew to obtain regulatory approval for its product. Full text

22 Jan 2014
Preliminary injunctions readily available for process patents

The UK High Court has again shown its willingness to grant preliminary injunctions in BASF v Sipcam (UK) Limited. The decision highlights the importance of pre-trial conduct and the need for cooperation between parties if they are to avoid adverse decisions in actions for injunctive relief in the United Kingdom. Full text

04 Dec 2013
Appeal to stay proceedings dismissed in favour of patentee

A decision of the Patents Court of the High Court of England and Wales to refuse a stay of proceedings pending the outcome of co-pending proceedings at the European Patent Office (EPO) has been unsuccessfully appealed by HTC in IPCom v HTC. The judgment of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales revisited the guidance given in Glaxo Group Ltd v Genentech Inc for the granting of stays of proceedings at the Patents Court when there are co-pending proceedings at the EPO. Full text

06 Nov 2013
Extending pharmaceutical patents in the United Kingdom

The contentious issue of patent extensions for pharmaceutical products has again come under the spotlight in a recent decision: Actavis v Boehringer. The decision signals that the UK courts are keen to extend pharmaceutical patents, even where the product is a combination of two known active ingredients, but the European Court of Justice will now have the final say. Full text

16 Oct 2013
Is EU Community design the top dog for design protection?

It can be hard to choose the most appropriate and cost-effective means of protecting designs within the European Union. This article looks at the issues that parties may wish to consider if they import, distribute or sell products within the European Union by reference to their innovative, visual appeal. Full text

04 Sep 2013
The risk of threatening a competitor with a UK patent infringement action

Threatening to sue for patent infringement in the UK courts can result in significant financial liability for the person making the threat if the patent is found to be invalid and the threat is therefore unjustified. A recent case confirms that parties seeking to enforce patent rights should exercise caution when contacting competitors regarding patent infringement matters due to the broad remit of the UK threats provisions. Full text

28 Aug 2013
Plausibility and the role of post-published evidence in UK litigation

The Court of Appeal has upheld the European patent (UK) protecting Teva’s largest branded drug Copaxone®, despite reaching a different conclusion on the admissibility of evidence published after the priority date. The decision provides a clear precedent for allowing evidence published after the priority date to be employed in an obviousness challenge against a UK patent. Full text

21 Aug 2013
hES cell patents in Europe – what’s the point?

In spite of the European Court of Justice's Brustle decision, it may be possible to get claims granted by the European Patent Office which, on their face, encompass human embryonic stem cells (hES cells). But is there any point in getting such claims granted? Do patents prevent parties from using hES cells in Europe, or is there freedom to operate? Full text

14 Aug 2013
hES cell patents in Europe – the inescapable Brustle trap?

The patentability of inventions relating to human embryonic stem cells (hES cells) is currently an area of controversy in Europe. This article examines which hES cell claims the European Patent Office (EPO) is prepared to grant, with reference to a recent decision from the EPO Opposition Division on the Brustle patent. Full text

24 Jul 2013
Supreme Court puts to bed the principle leading to damages for infringing an invalid patent

In a significant recent judgment the Supreme Court revisited and overturned a legal principle developed by the UK courts over the last 100 years: the principle of whether a defendant is required to pay damages for an earlier finding of infringement by a UK court (with no further course of appeal in the UK system) of a European patent which no longer exists in the form said to have been infringed. Full text

17 Jul 2013
Patent Box brings GSK research to the United Kingdom

Multinational pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is reportedly set to transfer 150 overseas research projects to the United Kingdom to take advantage of the newly introduced Patent Box. The Patent Box is a tax regime that allows UK companies to elect to pay a reduced rate of corporation tax on profits attributable to patents and certain other forms of intellectual property. Full text

19 Jun 2013
The IP Bill – good for business?

UK IP Minister Lord Younger recently tabled a bill that is set to modernise IP law for the benefit of UK businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. In the minister's own words, the proposed reforms “are more evolution than revolution”, but – on a national level at least – it appears that they will benefit businesses seeking to protect their innovations. Full text

12 Jun 2013
Preliminary injunctions available despite first instance invalidity finding

The UK Court of Appeal has reversed an earlier decision of the High Court and granted Novartis a preliminary injunction against Hospira, preventing sales of generic zoledronic acid for treating osteoporosis. The decision provides precedent for the granting of a preliminary injunction in respect of a UK patent which is under appeal, notwithstanding the patent previously being held invalid in first instance proceedings. Full text

05 Jun 2013
Nestec’s patent roasted in the High Court

The High Court recently handed down its judgment relating to Dualit’s act of supplying disposable ground coffee capsules compatible with Nestec’s Nespresso® machines, following Nestec’s assertion of a patent protecting the machines' extraction system. In determining infringement, the judgment provides an indication of how the assessment of indirect infringement will be undertaken in UK courts following Schütz v Werit. Full text

29 May 2013
Court of Appeal considers patentability of touchscreen-related inventions

In HTC v Apple the UK Court of Appeal considered whether computer-implemented methods utilised in touchscreen devices are excluded from patentability. The judgment offers insight into European and UK excluded subject-matter issues, which continue to plague applications that come before the European Patent Office, the UK Intellectual Property Office and the courts. Full text

01 May 2013
ECJ reference breathes life into Sigma’s parallel importation appeal

The Court of Appeal recently handed down a decision indicating its intention to refer questions relating to the specific mechanism to Europe's highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), on an appeal from the Patents County Court. The court considered the issues in the case to be worthy of a reference to the ECJ because the specific mechanism will continue to apply until 2019. Full text

17 Apr 2013
When is making a patented product not an infringement? Werit is making a repair

The recent Supreme Court judgment in Schütz v Werit has provided guidance on the question of when repairing a patented product by replacing a component part infringes a patent to the product as a whole. This guidance will be welcomed by those who repair patented products in the United Kingdom. Full text

10 Apr 2013
Samsung v Apple – again

As the war for world smartphone domination rages on, the latest battle between two of the major belligerents, Samsung and Apple, has taken place in the United Kingdom. Two separate judgments have been issued in cases between the two companies, concerning three European (UK) patents held by Samsung. Samsung alleged that these patents were infringed by Apple, which counterclaimed for revocation. Full text

03 Apr 2013
Patents neglected by London’s "Tech City"

London is being touted as a hub for technological innovation, particularly the so-called “Silicon Roundabout” area in the east of the city. However, patent filings from this area appear to be very low. History suggests that there should be an increase in patent filing activity. So what could be the reason for this apparent inconsistency? Full text

27 Mar 2013
Extension of research exemptions in the United Kingdom

Exemptions from infringement under the UK Patents Act in relation to the research and development of innovative drugs are set to be extended from October 2013. The prospective changes should make the United Kingdom a more attractive place to conduct these activities. Full text

20 Mar 2013
Can an SPC be based on an adjuvant?

The UK Intellectual Property Office recently issued two decisions rejecting supplementary protection certificate (SPC) applications filed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA (GSK) and Genzyme Corporation to try to extend the term of protection for their authorised medicines, which included new adjuvant systems (GSK) and alternative salt forms of a drug (Genzyme). However, GSK recently persuaded the High Court to refer a question to the European Court of Justice on the issue of whether an adjuvant can be the subject of an SPC. Full text

06 Mar 2013
Inventive step – what to develop?

Where a patent’s novel feature provides no new effect, the UK courts may still consider arguments for inventive step, as illustrated by the recent High Court decision regarding the patent for the anti-malarial Malarone®. The decision illustrates the UK courts’ willingness to consider arguments for inventive step that are not based on a new or improved effect. Full text

16 Jan 2013
But finishing was never part of the (paediatric investigation) plan…

The High Court recently rejected Dr Reddy’s application to revoke the six-month paediatric extension of Warner-Lambert’s supplementary protection certificate for atorvastatin. Although the decision clarified the UK courts' interpretation of whether a paediatric investigation plan has been completed, this issue will be addressed definitively only once such questions have been referred to the European Court of Justice. Full text

28 Nov 2012
Disclosure is a powerful tool in patent litigation

The disclosure process under English law creates powerful opportunities during patent litigation. Careful use of disclosure can reduce costs and speed up proceedings across Europe, as shown in recent litigation between Danisco and Novozymes. Full text

14 Nov 2012
SPCs remain in a state of flux

The UK High Court recently asked the European Court of Justice to clarify what is meant by the “first authorisation” for the purposes of calculating the duration of an supplementary protection certificate (SPC). This decision will be of interest to pharmaceutical companies because it could impact on the term of protection conferred by their SPCs. Full text

31 Oct 2012
Apple loses appeal on “cool” design

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has issued a further ruling in the much-publicised infringement battle between Samsung and Apple. As well as concluding that Judge Birss was correct in his assertion that the Samsung tablets do not infringe because they create a different overall impression on the informed user, the appeal court upheld the order requiring Apple to publicise the court's finding. Full text

03 Oct 2012
UK court looks for more help from ECJ

In a judgment that echoed with resentment over the opacity of several recent Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) decisions in the area of supplementary protection certificate law, the Hon Mr Justice Arnold of the UK High Court has decided to refer two questions back to the ECJ, saying in effect “try again"! Full text

19 Sep 2012
Teva pays the price for premature marketing authorisation

The UK High Court has granted Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb an interim injunction preventing Teva from launching its generic version of blockbuster anti-retroviral SUSTIVA®. This pro-patentee decision sounds a warning to companies seeking marketing approval for generic drugs well in advance of expiry of the brand owner’s period of exclusivity. Full text

15 Aug 2012
UK Patents County Court proves its worth

Following last year’s introduction of caps on costs and damages, the United Kingdom's reformed Patents County Court (PCC) continues to offer a forum for parties of any size to conduct relatively affordable IP litigation. In a case involving an individual and two larger parties, there was agreement to use the PCC instead of the High Court on the basis that the inventor had limited resources and needed the protection of the PCC's cost cap. Full text

25 Jul 2012
Victorious Samsung “not as cool” as Apple, court rules

With so much attention on the legal battles between the major smartphone players, it would be easy to overlook the importance of Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited v Apple Inc, heard by the High Court of England and Wales. This was the first substantive hearing in the European Union between the two parties on the issue of infringement of Apple’s Registered Community Design 000181607-0001. Full text

18 Jul 2012
HTC prevails against Apple in the UK Patents Court

Over the past year, IP news has been dominated by a series of ongoing disputes between Apple and other major players in the smartphone market, known as the "smartphone wars". The UK Patents Court recently handed down its judgment in one of the first such disputes involving Apple to proceed to trial. The judgment reaffirms that a relatively high standard of patentability is required for patents in the United Kingdom. Full text

27 Jun 2012
Introduction of Patent Box heralds new tax regime

The Finance Bill 2012 is to introduce legislation to provide a new tax regime: the Patent Box. It is designed to incentivise companies to commercialise their existing patents and expand their patent portfolio, and to develop new products incorporating patented technology. Companies will be able to elect to apply a 10% rate of corporation tax (rather than 23%) to worldwide profits attributable to certain IP rights. Full text

20 Jun 2012
Furrowed brows for L’Oréal at end of Allergan BOTOX® battle

The First Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union has given its judgment dismissing the appeal brought jointly by Helena Rubenstein and L’Oréal against the 2010 judgment of the EU General Court in favour of Allergan, Inc, owner of the BOTOX® trademark. The judgment marks the end of the road for a case with a long history. Full text

30 May 2012
Merck’s silence irrelevant as Sigma is left gasping

The Patents County Court recently addressed parallel imports and the specific mechanism in a case involving the import of asthma treatment Singulair from Poland. The judge concluded that in such cases, there is no burden on the patentee or supplementary protection certificate holder to reply to a potential importer’s notification under the specific mechanism. Full text

11 Apr 2012
The Patents County Court – faster, easier and cheaper

The Patents County Court is likely to become a more popular forum for enforcing and challenging IP rights in the United Kingdom following recent changes to streamline the litigation procedure and to limit the costs and financial remedies available. Full text

04 Apr 2012
Regeneron and Bayer caught in Genentech’s VEGF Trap

In the UK leg of the litigation involving potential blockbuster drug Eylea, the High Court has handed down a judgment that potential blockbuster drug Eylea infringes a patent held by Genentech, Inc. Full text

07 Mar 2012
Wrinkles for L’Oréal during BOTOX® battle with Allergan

Advocate General Mengozzi has delivered his opinion on the appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union brought jointly by Helena Rubinstein and L’Oréal against a 2010 judgment of the General Court of the European Union which dismissed appeals filed by those two companies. Full text

22 Feb 2012
An important day for supplementary protection certificates

The High Court has applied recent decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Medeva and related referrals to real-world situations involving supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). In doing so, the High Court has shed some much-needed light on the situations in which SPCs will be available to extend patent terms. Full text

25 Jan 2012
SPC decisions rain down from the ECJ

Towards the end of 2011 there was a flurry of activity at the Court of Justice of the European Union, with Europe’s highest court handing down a number of decisions relevant to supplementary protection certificates – a unique form of IP right that provides an additional monopoly that comes into force after expiry of a patent. Full text


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Issue 90