The Enlarged Board of Appeal has now issued its Decision on referral G 3/14. G 3/14, originally reported in IPcopy here and with subsequent updates, most recently here, relates to how issues relating to clarity should be considered in opposition and opposition appeal proceedings. The Enlarged Board was faced with a choice between a “conventional” approach in which clarity can only be considered where the lack of clarity lies in the amendment (a line of cases which the EBA considered to lead from T 301/87) and a “divergent” approach allowing a wider power to examine for clarity (a line of cases considered to lead from T 1459/05 – the EBA drew particular attention here to T 472/88). The Enlarged Board came down clearly on the side of the conventional approach, but also went beyond the circumstances of the case referred to discuss the boundary between claims that should and should not be examined for clarity. (more…)
A number of sources are reporting that Luxembourg has ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement. The proceedings in the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies can be seen here. Although Luxembourg has ratified the UPC Agreement it has not, as of 26 March 2015 and according to the official EU Council UPC page, deposited its instrument of ratification in Brussels (so no update to IPcopy’s Ratification Game post just yet!).
Luxembourg is the seventh country to ratify after Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Malta and Sweden. The ratification session in the Chamber of Deputies also apparently confirmed that Luxembourg does not intend to create a local division (or presumably take part in a regional division). Actions that could have been been otherwise brought in Luxembourg will have to go the central division (Paris, London or Munich) instead.
Mark Richardson 26 March 2015
The EPO’s Guidelines for Examination were updated in November last year. Section H-IV, 2.3 covers the general rules for assessing amendments for conformity with Article 123(2) EPC. Following general grumbles that the EPO was becoming a bit too strict when assessing whether amendments comprised added matter, section H-IV, 2.3 was updated to say that literal support is not required (based on T667/08) and that an added matter assessment which “disproportionally focusses on the structure of the claims” should be avoided (this position being taken from T2619/11).
However, a recent Board of Appeal decision, T1363/12, that was published shortly after the Exam Guidelines update, has reaffirmed the “gold standard” test in G2/10, has downplayed the significance of T2619/11 and has effectively suggested that the Guidelines do not accurately reflect the position in G2/10. (more…)
The results for the EQE pre-exam were released yesterday (Friday 20 March) and IPcopy would like to extend its congratulations to those of you that passed. We would also like to sound a slight note of caution. The Delta Patents blog post for the 2015 results has highlighted that the marks that were available online may have been adjusted down by 1 or 2 marks at some point during the day yesterday. If you were a borderline pass it could be worth rechecking your results. (more…)
Managing IP’s International Women’s Leadership Forum was held in London recently and proved to be a very worthwhile day for both inhouse counsel and private practice attendees.
Emma Barraclough, Group Editor of Managing IP kindly invited me to attend and to prepare a series of short follow up articles for the IPcopy blog. These will be posted on IPcopy over the next few weeks. Emma is one of the driving forces behind the development of the Women in IP network and the London forum follows on from successful events she hosted in New York and San Jose last year. This post provides an overview of a few of the sessions that IPcopy attended. (more…)
A week ago we noted that IPKat had received details of two proposals (2.5 proposals if you count the SME variant) that the EPO is seriously considering with respect to the renewal fees for the unitary patent.
After we got over the initial shock that some actual figures had been revealed (leaked?) we took a closer look and realised that what most of the commentary was missing on this news was some fancy-ass graphs. So here, for your viewing pleasure, are some fancy graphs*, some comments and an observation or two.
…. Did we mention there’s graphs?……. in colour? (more…)
The following case review of T53/13 first appeared in the ITMA review.
Vans applied to register the mark in question (see right) in Classes 18 and 25 on 14 September 2011 (No. 010263838), which was refused on 7 March 2012 on the basis of Article 7(1)(b) as the mark “consisted of a wavy line which slants and curves” and was devoid of distinctive character. Evidence to show acquired distinctiveness had a number of gaps such that it was held not to be possible to ascertain the degree of recognition by the relevant public.
The appeal filed on 2 May 2012 was dismissed by the Fifth Board of Appeal (BoA) on 14 November 2012. The BoA held that the mark was devoid of any distinctive character as the average consumer would see the mark as a “concept of a wavy line”, which is too vague as a badge of origin. Graphic line stripes are common in respect of goods in Classes 18 and 25, such that the relevant public would view the mark as “exclusively ornamental”. Also, the existence of earlier national registrations was irrelevant and evidence regarding acquired distinctiveness insufficient.
The action to the General Court (Fifth Chamber) was filed on 31 January 2013. (more…)
An update on developments in the US was provided during the Finnegan “A Year in Review” seminar. Anthony Tridico noted that there are now “Three Kings” in the US: the Supreme Court of the United States, the Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Anthony noted that the PTAB has become the number 1 most active jurisdiction in the US after only two years of operation.
First up however was the Federal Circuit and a case relating to double patenting. (more…)
Topics discussed below include: some actual figures for the renewal fees for the unitary patent(!!), a clarification about the updated European Patent Litigators Certificate, an updated article from Dr Stjerna regarding the Spanish challenges and the CJEU and unitary patent news from Italy. (more…)