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Friday, 26 June 2015

Friday fantasies

Greenpeace and the patent system
share the same objective -- world change
A week and a half ago, the IPKat's Tuesday Tiddlywinks feature contained a reader's request to know what actually has happened to the controversial human embryonic stem-cell patent that was the subject of a referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-34/10 Brüstle v Greenpeace. We have subsequently received the following helpful clarification from Kilburn & Strode partner Nick Bassil (Katpat!).  Writes Nick:
The CJEU proceedings in Case C-34/10 concerned the German national patent.  This is quite separate from the proceedings at the EPO on the corresponding EP patent.  The EP patent was revoked in opposition proceedings, but this was appealed.  The Technical Board of Appeal has issued its decision T 1808/13.  A copy can be downloaded from the file history here or viewed hereThe Board has remitted the patent to the Opposition Division for further examination on the basis of the Sixth Auxiliary Request filed on 21 January 2015. The language of proceedings at the EPO was German, so all the papers on the EP patent are in German too. 

Other nations blow their
own trumpets about their IP
Can Scotland go it alone? This question has been frequently debated in recent times and, since the campaigners who lost the referendum on Scottish independence predictably refused to accept "no" for an answer, it will doubtless continue to be posed until such time as speculation gives way to empirical data. Meanwhile, a recent press release from patent and trade mark practitioners Marks & Clerk (whose Clerk -- Sir Dugald Clerk, inventor of the first successful two-stroke engine -- was himself Scottish) gives some facts and figures concerning IP generated in Scotland last year. A total of 851 applications were filed from Scotland and 103 patents granted in 2014, down from 902 and 142 in 2013, although the overall figures for the UK showed an increase in applications – up to 15,187 from 14,946, with the number of granted patents slipping to 2,315 from 2,437. Better news came from the trade mark side of things, with filings rising from 2,191 to 2,219 and registrations up to 1,900 from 1,892 [this Kat suspects increased activity in the Scotch whisky sector, where the number of sub-brands appears to be rising almost as fast as the prices in the airport durt-free shops].



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The Minister (left) with Isabel Davies
The Baroness speaks. On Monday this Kat reported that the Law Society for England and Wales ate its first ever Intellectual Property Law Committee (IPLC) Dinner, at which IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe was the special guest. Thanks to Katfriend Isabel Davies we have procured the Baroness's very own speech notes, which we are pleased to offer you for your reflection, cogitation and delectation (just click here).  The speech makes mention of many positive aspects of the British government's commitments both at home and abroad to improve the legal environment for IP owners, and warns of the dangers of counterfeit vodka made from automotive screen-wash. In case you were wondering, there is no mention of the European Patent Office ...

 
Around the weblogs. PatLit features a guest post from Richard Kempner, Brian Whitehead and Stuart Jackson on the brace of recent Court of Appeals patent decisions (ConvaTec and Actavis v Lilly) which are currently preoccupying those good souls who spend their lives seeking to extract meaning from patent claims and descriptions. This Kat has also posted an item there on British Gas v VanClare, an instructive extempore decision of Arnold J on whether and when bifurcation is possible in England and Wales. Over on Class 46, Tiina Komppa reports on the registrability of "SUOMEN PAKASTETUIN JÄÄTELÖ" as a trade mark for ice cream: apart from some subtle word-play, there is a discussion of whether consumers choose ice cream on the basis of how frozen it is.  The SPC Blog carries a fascinating post from Gian Paolo di Santo on the quetiapine patent litigation in Turin, which has seen a court taking the unusual step of rejecting the guidance of the court-appointed expert. Finally, on the 1709 Blog, Andy Johnstone relates the content of this year's Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture, delivered by Judge Alex Kozinski.

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