Intellectual property news and updates

Nestec vs. Dualit: indirect infringement of “consumables”

In a recent case, Schutz v Werit, the UK Supreme Court decided that replacing the “bottle” in a patented intermediate bulk container (“IBC”) was not an infringement of the patent, as the IBC was not being “made” by replacement of the bottle.

Virgin vs. Zodiac – patentees cannot now recover pending damages from subsequently invalid UK patents

In a recent decision handed down by the Supreme Court, the time-honoured UK tradition of a patentee being able to claim pending damages from an infringer despite their patent being subsequently revoked (and so deemed never granted in the first place), has been quashed.

Wilson Gunn wins awards in patents and designs

We are delighted to report that Wilson Gunn achieved double success in the 2013 Corporate Intl Legal Awards, picking up the awards for IP Patents Law Firm of the Year in England and Design Law – Law Firm of the Year in England.

Is your business affected by the EPO's strict time limits for filing divisional patent applications?

When a patent application contains more than one invention, in order to protect each one it is usually necessary to divide the second and subsequent inventions out into separate ‘divisional’ patent applications which are treated as having been filed at the same time as the first ‘parent’ application.

Third-party observations now possible for international patent applications

It is now possible to file third-party observations during the International phase of the so-called PCT application. This can result in the scope of protection of a patent granted being limited or a patent being refused or the application being abandoned by the proprietor.

Marking products with a web address to an online notice of patent rights

In patent infringement proceedings, an infringer can sometimes avoid or reduce their liability for damages if they can show that they had no reason to suspect that the infringed patent existed. This can be prevented where patent applicants and owners have marked their product (and/or its packaging and/or product information) with notices detailing their patents in force and/or pending patent applications that cover the product.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) funding IP audits

SMEs can currently apply for funding for an IP audit via one of the UKIPO’s partners including GrowthAccelerator, Welsh Government and Scottish Enterprise, for companies based in England, Wales and Scotland respectively.

Proposed change to UK patent law: sharing unpublished information with other patent offices

During the first eighteen months of a UK patent application, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) conducts a prior-art search and informs the applicant in a Search Report of any relevant documents found as well as providing remarks on patentability of the invention.

UKIPO encouraging pharmaceutical innovation

The UK Intellectual Property Office is undertaking a formal consultation on its proposal to amend the Patents Act to allow clinical and field trials for new drugs, which involve the use of already patented drugs, to be carried out without risk of patent infringement. This would include the activities required to obtain regulatory approval to market new drugs or to assess their efficacy.

EU patent breakthrough

After a 30 year deadlock, the European Union is one step closer to a common European patent after EU ministers voted on Monday to allow 25 EU member states to establish a unitary patent system.

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