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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…)

Exotic Creatures of the Deep – Huawei Technologies v. ZTE at the CJEU

14577981619_deea0f3276_mStandards Essential Patent (SEP) matters are the giant squid of the intellectual property ocean.  Enormously powerful and capable of making or disrupting the commercial plans of some of the world’s largest companies, they prowl a zone so mired in technical complexity and commercial confidentiality that their mighty struggles are largely obscured from view, despite their potential to swing hundreds of millions – even billions – of dollars from one group of companies to another.  Under these circumstances, it is not so surprising that a universally respected commenter on IP matters openly wondered what all the fuss was about after delivering an impeccable summary of the most important decision in this area for several years.  At first sight, the lack of excitement is understandable – the decision just seems to be a lot of stuff about who should do what when and looks about as thrilling as the rules for filing a tax return.  Let us, in the manner of James Cameron descending into the Challenger Deep, see if we can shed a little light on the ecosystem of the sea bed and explain why this decision might matter. (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…)

US Patent Law: Prenatal DNA Test invalid under §101

USToday on IPcopy we have a guest post from Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. Many thanks to Michael J. Cronin, Ph.D for providing permission to repost this article on IPcopy.

In Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. et al. v. Sequenom, Inc. et al., Nos. 2014-1139 and 2014-1144 (Fed. Cir. June 12, 2015), the Federal Circuit held that certain method claims of Sequenom’s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (the ‘540 patent) are invalid as being directed to patent ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  The Court concluded that the use of conventional methods for detecting a naturally occurring phenomenon did not transform the natural phenomenon into a patentable invention. Judge Reyna wrote the opinion for the panel, which included Judges Linn and Wallach. (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…)

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