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Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Portugal completes its ratification formalities)

EU shirt2Update (1 September 2015)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Portugal has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 28 August 2015) to become the eighth country to complete its ratification formalities. Portugal joins Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the eight countries who have completed their ratification processes.

Regular readers will recall that we noted last month that Portugal had ratified the UPC Agreement but had not deposited its instrument of ratification in Brussels.  Now that Portugal has completed all of the formalities we have updated our ratification infographic (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).

ratification August 2015

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US caselaw – countering an obvious combination objection

USWe’ve all been there. The Office Action for your client’s latest US patent application contains an inventive step objection based on the combination of two documents. The documents together appear to be relevant to your main claim but the client swears blind that the documents would never be combined to arrive at the invention. What do you do? How can you argue against such a combination of prior art. Well, here is a brief compilation of relevant US cases bearing on the obviousness of combinations*. (more…)

Portugal ratifies the UPC Agreement

IMG_8533From IPcopy reader Gonçalo Paiva e Sousa comes news that the Portuguese president has apparently ratified the UPC Agreement.

Gonçalo’s comment in full reads:

“The Portuguese president has ratified the UPC Agreement, after the parliament approval. It is now official that Portugal has ratified the Unitary Patent Court Agreement – Presidential Decree n.º 90/2015 dated August 6, 2015.”

The text of the announcement can be found here. (more…)

Unitary patent and UPC news round-up

IMG_8533-1Here’s a selection of unitary patent and UPC flavoured news items that we’ve seen in the last few weeks:

Opt out fee

The regulations and agreements surrounding the unitary patent package have been picked over many times which has resulted in discussions about “hard coded bifurcation“, the Malta problem and just what the “exclusive competence” of the UPC means. To add to that list we now have the question: “Just what is the legal basis for the opt out fee?”  (more…)

UPC Update: UK UPC Taskforce (July 2015)

IMG_8533Another of our semi regular updates on the progress of the unitary patent and UPC.  (more…)

UPC Court Fees Consultation Event – the Q&A

IMG_8533-1Last week saw the London meeting of the joint CIPA/IPO/IP Federation event relating to the consultation on court fees for the Unified Patent Court. Earlier this week IPcopy posted our notes on the event. Today we have some further notes gleaned from the Q&A session that followed the main event. (more…)

UPC Court Fees Consultation London Event (CIPA/IPO/IP Federation)

IMG_8533-1Last week saw the London meeting of the joint CIPA/IPO/IP Federation event relating to the consultation on court fees for the Unified Patent Court. What follows below are IPcopy’s notes on the event and consultation.

If you are planning on submitting a response to the consultation then you have until midnight 31 July 2015. The consultation document can be found here. Anyone who missed the consultation can take advantage of the video recording of the event here to review what was said. (more…)

Spiderman, Spiderman, Does whatever a spider can (IP – Hit or Miss?)

spidermanThe Supreme Court of the United States has handed down its decision in Kimble v Marvel Entertainment LLC on the issue of whether to overrule an earlier decision that held that patentees cannot receive royalties for sales made after the patent expires.

The short summary to this decision was that in SCOTUS’ view the court should adhere to the decision of Brulotte in which a post-patent royalty provision was regarded as “unlawful per se”. So, a victory for Marvel since they won’t have to continue making royalty payments to Stephen Kimble who came up with the idea behind the invention at the centre of the case.

What makes this decision a little more interesting however is that the case involved a Spider-man toy (in particular a “web-slinger” glove that allows its wearer to shot foam webs from their hands, the Web Blaster Spider-Man toy) and the judge (Justice Kagan) was clearly (i) a bit of a superhero nerd and (ii) having some fun in the decision. (more…)

UPC Update: UK UPC Taskforce (June 2015, part 2)

IMG_8533Another week, another UPC related update from the good folks at the UKIPO plus a short update on the unitary patent fee proposal from the EPO. (more…)

Who Owns the Patent? Top Tip from a TM attorney

Question MarkToday we have a little tip for anyone who has run into difficulties locating a patent or patent application that is mentioned in the context of a product being marketed under the words “patent pending”, “patented” or similar. Sometimes it is easy to locate the patent property in question because, for example, the company offering the product/service is also the patent owner. Sometimes however it can be difficult to find the correct patent property.

This may be because the company in question owns thousands of patents and patent applications (good luck for example identifying all the patent filings made in relation to the Apple Watch). However, in some cases this is because the company selling the “patented” product/service is not the patent owner.

Perhaps the patent/patent application is held by a different company in the same company group or perhaps the inventors own the patents. In such circumstances what else can be done to try and locate the patent/patent application in question? (more…)

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