Region: Europe

EPO u-turn is good news for UK patent holders

The European Patent Office has announced that it will participate in a pilot scheme with the US Patent and Trademark Office to accelerate patent applications. This is good news for UK patent holders as the increased harmonisation should result in greater efficiency in terms of time and spend throughout the filing process.

19 December 2007

Court cancels protecion for controversial umbrella design

After years of uncertainty surrounding an industrial design registration for terrace umbrellas, an appeal court has cancelled the registration. The case hinged on when an industrial design can be said to be ‘new’ and thus when the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks can issue an industrial design protection certificate for it.

12 December 2007

Court sets limits on the scope of protection for biotech patents

A Madrid court has issued the first ever Spanish ruling to deal with the interpretation of the EU Biotech Directive in infringement proceedings. The court found that a patent for a DNA sequence could not be extended to protect soy meal derived from transgenic soy beans, as the patent holder failed to prove that the DNA sequence was incorporated into and contained in the soy meal, and performed its function therein.

05 December 2007

Ireland's friendly tax approach to intellectual property pays off

Ireland is one of the largest exporters of intellectual property in the world, an impressive achievement that owes much to its friendly tax approach to intellectual property. Companies that engage in IP licensing in Ireland can take advantage of many favourable tax provisions, as well as a 12.5% rate of corporation tax.

05 December 2007

A big year for Swiss IP legislation

This year has been a significant one for Swiss IP legislation, with five separate amendments to the Patent Act and four to the Copyright Act. Some changes were necessitated by the opening of the Federal Administrative Court at the beginning of 2007, while others serve to ratify and implement international agreements.

05 December 2007

Amended code sets new trend for industrial design case law

Following the amendment of the Copyright Act to acknowledge explicitly that design creations are entitled to protection under copyright law, Italian case law in the area of industrial designs is looking far more settled. Earlier this year, a Milan court affirmed this trend by finding that Arco floor lamps qualify for copyright protection.

28 November 2007

Injunction u-turn suggests stringent inventiveness requirement

A Turin tribunal has revoked an earlier injunction granted for the alleged infringement of an Italian utility model application. The change of heart indicates that more stringent standards are to be expected from the Italian courts in evaluating the inventiveness requirement that must be met by utility model patents in Italy.

21 November 2007

Ω is a valid and distinctive trademark, court finds

An Italian court has found that a purse clasp in the form of the Greek letter <em>omega</em> – Ω – amounted to valid use of a trademark registration. This is a departure from previous case law, which either refused to acknowledge the validity of marks represented by a single letter or restricted protection to identical forms by competitors.

14 November 2007

French to give UK pan-European businesses valuable Christmas present

UK patent applicants can look forward to big reductions in the cost of registering patents when the London Agreement comes into force. While the agreement will reduce translation costs for all applicants, UK businesses will benefit doubly as English has so far been chosen as the official language by all member states with a choice.

14 November 2007

How intellectual property can lead to better global competitiveness

New research on innovation policy in Europe shows that Italy is ranked 12th among EU member states – not the best result the country could have hoped for. However, strong creative industries, together with the likely ratification of the European Patent Convention 2000, could help to enhance Italy’s competitiveness.

07 November 2007

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