Good news for those patent folk who have been diligently following (or attempting to follow) the thread of comments that followed the guest post by Walter Hart and Reiner Wijnstra (EP&C) on Poisonous Divisionals. Walter and Reinier have promised a follow-up that summarises the vast quantity of comments and asks where we go from here. Be patient, though: it will take them a little while to read them all! [If you want some handy tips on how to speed-read all those comments, try the Wired How-To Wiki, here]
In case you missed it, Eli Lilly and Company v Human Genome Sciences, Inc UKSC 2012/0220 is not going on appeal to the United Kingdom's Supreme Court. Last month a three-judge panel consisting of Lords Neuberger, Reed and Carnwath refused leave to appeal, stating:
"Permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal".These two parties, readers may recall, have faced each other in the Supreme Court not long ago: see Katposts by Jeremy and Matt.
It might be worth mentioning that registrable transactions are not the only thing which the new-look database of the UKIPO has obscured. Notifications – ie, when a TM application has been allowed to proceed through to publication for opposition purposes only on notification to the owner of an earlier right – have also disappeared. And the notification letters which the UKIPO sends out to the earlier right holders are not copied to the applicants. The lack of easily accessible data on notifications does have an impact on the statutory duty of acquiescence, and it also leads to a false sense of security, especially among applicants who try to do without legal representatives: they assume – because there is no permanent easily accessible record - that the UKIPO has notified their application to all of the owners of the marks the UKIPO found in its search. And they assume that the absence of any oppositions means that they are in the clear as far as conflicts are concerned – only to find after they have launched on the market that those earlier rights are indeed a problem.
"We are currently in the process of resolving a number a teething problems resulting from the significant IT and business change that the UK Trade Mark Registry has recently undertaken. The missing security details should be available on line in the next week or so. Please accept our apologies for this temporary inconvenience".