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Patents Court rules in third technical Unwired Planet trial (International reports)
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.
Introduction of Patent Box heralds new tax regime (International reports)
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.
Accelerating patent prosecution via the Green Channel (International reports)
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.
But finishing was never part of the (paediatric investigation) plan (International reports)
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.
The IP Bill good for business? (International reports)
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.
Will the public suffer? Let’s stay! (International reports)
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.
Apple loses appeal on “cool” design (International reports)
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.
Less is more but still not enough for Genentech’s dosing schedule patent (International reports)
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.
Appeal to stay proceedings dismissed in favour of patentee (International reports)
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.
SPCs remain in a state of flux (International reports)
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.
Can an SPC be based on an adjuvant? (International reports)
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.
Genentech’s Herceptin purification patent fails to pass the acid test (International reports)
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.
Plausibility and the role of post-published evidence in UK litigation (International reports)
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.
Victorious Samsung “not as cool” as Apple, court rules (International reports)
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.
Supreme Court puts to bed the principle leading to damages for infringing an invalid patent (International reports)
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.
The IPEC leaves its cap on (International reports)
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.
Extending pharmaceutical patents in the United Kingdom (International reports)
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.
Extension of research exemptions in the United Kingdom (International reports)
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.
Preliminary injunctions available despite first instance invalidity finding (International reports)
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.
Keeping up in the patent race for connected cars (International reports)
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.
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