It’s mid-January. Exam stress is rising. About two months from now, more than 2,000 candidates from close to 40 different countries will take part in either the EQE pre-examination or one or more of the four EQE main exams that are organised by the European Patent Office (EPO). These exams, especially the four main exams, are not easy. Only 2 in 5 candidates manage to pass all papers in their first attempt. Passing these exams is only possible with proper preparation. Following some courses is highly recommended for all papers. Thoroughly studying the (case) law and practicing a large number of old exams is unavoidable. (more…)
This post is a case review of Opposition No. B002686593, Certina AG v TRB International SA, EUIPO, 30th July 2019
Certina AG (the Opponent) filed an opposition against EU application No 1257407 for a figurative turtle mark in the name of TRB International SA (the Applicant) for all goods in class 14. The opposition was based on international trade mark registration Nos 116985(Earlier Mark 1) and 1175867 (Earlier Mark 2) designating the EU for the figurative marks. The Opponent invoked Article 8(1)(b) and Article 8(5) EUTMR. (more…)
It’s General Election time. Again.
Even though the UK has been through four major votes since 2014 (Scottish Referendum in 2014, General Election in 2015, EU Referendum in 2016, General Election in 2017) the Powers That Be were clearly spooked by the lack of an opportunity for the UK electorate to vote on something major in 2018 and so are bringing us General Election 3: It’s Brexmas Time (There’s No Need to be Afraid).
The main parties might want you to believe that the election is about the chance to ruin our relationship with our main trading partners even further or the ability to nationalise anything that moves but we all really know where the main policy action is. Yes, it’s time to see what the parties have to say about IP.
IPcopy has therefore taken one for the team and has waded through the manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SNP (and also the Brexit Party’s “Contract with the People”) to see what they have to say about: patents, trade marks, designs (IP related design references), copyright, the unitary patent and unified patent court. We’ve also had a look to see what’s been said about research and development.
So, ready? Here we go…. (more…)
IPcopy recently attended an EPO presentation from the EPO’s Bioinformatics team on the subject of computer implemented inventions (CII) in biotech and healthcare and how to go about patenting such inventions.
This author works in Keltie’s software team and so is familiar with CII related inventions. Bioinformatics inventions however can sit somewhere between the biotech and software disciplines and so this presentation provided a handy insight for attorneys from either field into the subject area. (more…)
In the first session, “Patenting Computer implemented inventions in Healthcare at the EPO”, Igor Dydenko provided the EPO view on patenting inventions in the Healthcare field which apparently is the top technical field with the most patent applications in the EPO (according to the EPO’s 2018 annual report).
Igor noted that the relevant provisions for healthcare related inventions were those relating to technicality (Art 52(2), (3) and 56 EPC) and medical methods (Art 53(c) EPC). A review of the two examination requirements (note the EPO moving away from the “hurdles” language*) of technicality and inventive step then followed which highlighted the Guidelines for Examination approach for mixed type inventions incorporating a mathematical method (see G-II, 3.3). In particular the discussion highlighted the requirement for inventive step to only be supported by those features of the claimed invention which provide a technical effect serving a technical purpose. (more…)
Mont Adventure Equipment Pty Ltd filed a UK designation of international registration No 1385791 for a mark on 27th November 2017 (see the opposed mark below), with a priority date of 10th November 2017. This designation was opposed by AA Textiles Ltd in respect of class 25, including “technical clothing, footwear and headgear for adventure sport and extreme adventure sport pursuits” under s5(2)(b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994. The Opponent relied on UK trade mark registration No 3191303, filed on 14th October 2016, for Mont Noir in class 25 for inter alia “clothing, headwear, footwear”. The case report can be found here.
The goods involved were acknowledged as identical. For Mont Noir, the average consumer was deemed to be the general public with a reasonable level of attention. However, in light of the specialist technical clothing covered by the Applicant’s specification, the average consumer for the opposed mark was deemed to have a higher than average level of care and attention.
While both marks were held to be averagely distinctive for clothing, for English-speaking consumers aware that the French terms involved mean “mountain” and “black mountain”, the evocative association weakened the distinctiveness of both marks when considered in relation to adventure sports clothing. (more…)
Last Tuesday the UK’s Supreme Court delivered their verdict in the “prorogation of Parliament” case and found that the advice provided to the Queen was unlawful with the effect that prorogation had never happened. Parliament was duly recalled on Wednesday where the Speaker directed that the item in the Journal of the House of Commons relating to Prorogation was to be expunged and replaced with a reference to the House being adjourned instead.
The Commons session last Wednesday went ahead with a series of Urgent Questions and the atmosphere in the chamber steadily deteriorated as things went on. Last week also marked the return to UK TV of the show The Good Place, and in honour of that show and its main character Eleanor Shellstrop, the session in Parliament last Wednesday could probably fairly be summed up as a forking shirtshow.
Lost a little in the noise generated by the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent recall of Parliament however was an announcement from Labour in Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech (and associated policy paper) regarding medicines and the use of the patent system. (more…)
The unitary patent system is aiming to create a European patent registration and litigation system. To bring the whole system into being, 13 EU member states, including France, Germany and the UK, need to ratify the UPC agreement and currently 16 member states (including France, the UK but crucially not Germany) have done so.
For some time, the unitary patent project has been stalled because an ongoing legal challenge in Germany has prevented Germany’s ratification process from being completed. In addition to this, the fallout from the UK’s Brexit vote has also cast a sense of uncertainty over the planned system because the unitary patent system is only, in its current form, open to EU member states to join. The UK’s expected departure from the EU therefore casts some doubt on whether the system will even take place.
In the face of the above two challenges however the UPC Preparatory Committee has continued to make technical and operational preparations in anticipation of a positive result from the German Constitutional Court.
Recently however the German Federal Ministry of Justice made a statement to the German Parliament indicating that an examination of the UK’s exit from the EU on the proposed unitary patent system will need to take place before ratification can occur. (more…)
Positive Organisations & People Ltd (the Applicant) is the proprietor of UK Trade Mark Application No. 3315911 in Classes 35 and 41 (copy of mark shown).
This mark was opposed* by PSP COMPANY BVBA (the Opponent) under the fast track procedure on the basis of its earlier EUTM Registration Nos. EU016150773 (Mark 1) and EU016150807 (Mark 2) below in Classes 35 and 41 under Section 5(2)(b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
The Applicant filed arguments against the opposition arguing that there were clear differences between ‘POSITIVE ORGANISATIONS & PEOPLE’ and ‘People On Point’, which would be recognised by consumers.
Following Boris Johnson becoming the Prime Minister of the UK last month, and given his desire to leave the EU by the 31 October 2019 deadline with or without a deal, we have highlighted the UK government’s plans for trade marks, designs and patents in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit in more detail.
It is noted that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and the “switch-over” date for IP, referred to as “Exit Day” below, will be 31 October 2019 (unless there are further extensions) (more…)