Intellectual property news and updates

Pfizer in patent pain after court rejects claims of infringement

The drug Lyrica (Pfizer’s trademarked name for pregabalin) was originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy and generalised anxiety disorder. Subsequently it was found that this drug was also suitable for the treatment of pain. In the UK, last year, Pfizer’s sales of this drug totalled around £250m. The original patent for the use…

Pick a number between 1 and 25: claim construction – Smith and Nephew v Convatec

As many readers will be aware, the most important part of a patent application is its claims: the claims define, in words, what the invention is. Some claims include ranges, limiting the scope of protection to the extent that certain components are present in an amount falling within the range. So it was with ConvaTec’s European Patent No…

‘Swiss-type’ claims in the UK – latest update

A recent judgment from the Court of Appeal (Warner-Lambert Company, LLC v Actavis Group PTC and others [2015] EWCA Civ 556) has shed some further light on how the England and Wales Courts interpret so-called ‘Swiss-type’ pharmaceutical manufacturing method claims. Swiss-type claims take the general form: “The use of [compound X] in the…

An end to ‘Popcorn Time’

On 28th April 2015, the UK High Court issued a ‘website blocking order’ forcing Britain’s five main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk, BT and EE to block access to a number of so-called ‘Popcorn Time’ sites that provide Popcorn Time for download. The action was filed by the Motion Picture Association of America…

Rihanna wins Court of Appeal Trade Mark case

The Court of Appeal has upheld a complaint by Rihanna against the high street fashion retailer Topshop. Case Detail In 2012, High Street leaders Topshop sold in store and via its website a fashion t-shirt displaying an image of celebrity superstar, Rihanna. The image was derived from a photograph of Rihanna which was taken when she was on…

Changes to the patent box – time to act

The UK’s Patent Box tax relief scheme has been greatly welcomed by innovative British businesses as a means of reducing their corporation tax bill, but it is set to change. Generally speaking, the relief reduces corporation tax payable on patented products to 10%. The relief has been available on profits made after 1 April 2013, so many…

EPO appeal board clarifies approach where a UK company party to proceedings ceases to exist, but is later reinstated

A notice of opposition was filed against EP1058580 B1 by Formalities Bureau Limited (FBL), a Company incorporated under the laws of the UK. While opposition proceedings were still pending, FBL was struck off the Register and therefore ceased to exist. Nevertheless, opposition proceedings in the name of FBL were continued, and following an…

Case insight: Thomas Pink Limited Vs Victoria Secret UK Limited [2014]

The claimant, Thomas Pink Limited, began trading in London in 1984. The core of its business is and has always been the sale of shirts, which are worn by professional people. Thomas Pink has grown and diversified and today the business involves selling goods other than shirts including either items of clothing and accessories. All the goods…

Update on Patentability of Unfertilised Human Ova

In a recent decision dated 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that unfertilised human ova whose further development has been stimulated by parthenogenesis (known as ‘parthenotes’) are patentable. This judgement is based on the decision that parthenotes are not considered to be human embryos. If parthenotes…

UK Patent Law Changes on 1st October 2014

There have been a number of changes to the UK Patent Law, including with regard to Web marking, Experimental use exception, and expansion of the Intellectual Property Office's Patent Opinions Service.

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