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Are You Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets? An Introduction to Intellectual Property

IP imageOver the next couple of weeks, IPcopy will be republishing some general introduction to IP articles that we prepared to present some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law for people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property. The articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Intellectual property (IP) can sometimes be overlooked. Intellectual assets are not tangible and, as such, can be difficult to value. Often, they are not taken into consideration properly when assessing the worth of a business. However, these assets can be the most important to a business, contributing significantly to its goodwill and reputation, and need to be protected properly. (more…)

UPC updates: Judgment Day for Spain & confusing communications from the EU Commission

IMG_8533-0A couple of unitary patent snippets today comprising news of Judgment Day in the CJEU for Spain and a confusing European Commission communication. (more…)

UPC Update: UK Purdah and a Belgian challenge

IMG_8533-1The UK election is on its way (in case you hadn’t noticed) and while Dave, Ed, Nick and Nigel battle it out, UK government civil servants are now in the period of purdah. During purdah, which is the period between the calling of a General Election and the General Election, rules apply which limit what can be said and done in public by civil servants to ensure they are impartial during the election process. As a result the UK UPC Taskforce is likely to be fairly quiet until after 7 May 2015.

Before they went into this period of restricted communication however, the UK UPC Taskforce issued another UPC update, the main points of which are noted below. Also highlighted below is a challenge against the ratification of the UPC Agreement in Belgium (Note: Belgium ratified the UPC agreement on 6 June 2014). (more…)

The UPC and Patent Litigation at the High Court and the IPEC

stacked-booksPublished recently on the UKIPO website is a report examining the number of patent cases at both the UK High Court and the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in the period 2007-2013.

The High Court and IPEC of course both currently have jurisdictions over matters relating to UK patents granted by the UKIPO and EP patents validated in the UK. The introduction of the Unified Patent Court may impact the number of EP(UK) patents that are handled by these two venues and the UKIPO report attempts to quantify the number of cases that have been filed at the High Court and IPEC.  (more…)

UPC Court Delivers Swift Justice

EU flagOn 2nd April 2015 we saw, for the first time, an approximation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in action during an excellent live-from-Paris webinarized event set up by a plethora of French IP institutions. Indeed, the sheer number of acronymical institutions (thirteen!) representing the interests of the French IP industry was almost as impressive as the high quality of the broadcast itself. (more…)

US Patents – Eligible Subject Matter – Top Tips for Prosecution (Finnegan Review Seminar)

stacked-booksOne of the sessions at the recent Finnegan Patent Case Law covered the issue of patent eligible subject matter and the recent Interim Guidelines for Examination at the USPTO (more detail on which can be found in IPcopy’s earlier post here).

The session again highlighted the divergence in two of the Interim Guidelines examples between what might be expected in Europe and the position stated in the Guidelines (see Examples 2 and 5 in the previous IPcopy post). Also discussed in this session were some top tips to bear in mind when prosecuting software subject matter in the US. (more…)

Unitary patent: Responses to the UK’s call for evidence

IMG_8533-1Back in the summer last year the UKIPO ran a consultation looking at the implementation of the unitary patent and unified patent court into UK law. Although the UKIPO is still processing the comments, a summary of the various responses received has been published (see here). (more…)

EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal on Clarity: Clear As It Has Ever Been

epologoThe 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…)

UPC Ratification: Mini update – Luxembourg

IMG_8533-0A 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

EPO & Added Matter: Board of Appeal pooh-poohs Examination Guideline Update

epologoThe 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…)

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